News in Brief 23 November 2016 (AM)

| November 23, 2016

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Israeli authorities demolished Bedouin homes in the vulnerable community of Abu Nwar, Area C, near East Jerusalem in the West Bank. Photo: UNRWA

Two-state solution for Israel and Palestine "under threat like never before"

The two-state solution whereby Israel and Palestine exist as separate states alongside each other is "under threat like never before," according to the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nikolay Mladenov.

Tensions continue between the Israelis and Palestinians with outbreaks of violence between the two communities.

Israeli settlers are also building on land in the occupied Palestinian territory in contravention of international law.

Here's Nikolay Mladenov addressing the Security Council on Wednesday.

“The continuing status quo in the occupied Palestinian territory reduces the prospect for sustainable and just peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Rarely have the risks to the two-state solution been greater than today.  How many times have we said in this chamber that we must move past the blatant obstructionism, the false stats and the perpetual claims that the time is simply not right for action. Inaction has a cost. A cost measured in human lives and suffering. The situation on the ground is changing steadily, dangerously, as proponents of Israeli settlement expansion feel emboldened. Internal divisions among Palestinians flare up. And the prospect of a future Palestinian state becomes under the threat like never before.”

The UN backs the creation of an independent State of Palestine and what it calls "a just, lasting and comprehensive resolution to the Arab-Israeli conflict."

Reject "revenge" in South Sudan to guarantee sustainable peace

Leaders in South Sudan have been urged to reject the idea of revenge and work together to give impetus to the UN-backed peace process in the country.

Fighting between rival political and now ethnic factions has been going on for almost three years leading to the deaths of thousands of people.

Former Botswana President Festus Mogae is the chairperson of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission, which has been tasked with monitoring the implementation of the peace agreement.

During a visit to the troubled country, he had this to say to the political leaders there.

“The President once made a statement that we should not be thinking of revenge. I want to hear that statement be made often by the leaders, not only by the President, but by the other leaders because otherwise we are surrendering to inflammatory rhetoric which could result in even more fighting and hatred."

Egypt parliamentary bill threatens to "devastate" civil society

Legislation which has been approved by the Egyptian parliament could devastate the country's civil society for generations to come and turn it into a government puppet; that's according to a UN Special Rapporteur on the rights
to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association.

Maina Kiai said the law appeared to be "deliberately drafted to curtail civil society's ability to operate and to freely express itself.

He added that the bill's provisions violated international law and contradicted Egypt's own constitution.

Parliament approved the bill on 15 November and sent it to the State Council for review; it will be sent back to Parliament for a final vote at an unknown date.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations.

Duration: 3’12″

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