UN Security Council worries about Middle East peace process hinh anh 1Mechola settlement area in Jordan Valley in West Bank (Photo: AFP/VNA)

New York (VNA) – UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov reported the developments in the Middle East to the UN Security Council via a videoconference on December 21, highlighting the challenges in implementing Security Council resolution 2334.

He noted that Israel has continued with plans on settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, adding that half of the settlements are deep in the West Bank, in areas crucial for the contiguity and viability of a future Palestinian State.

He said that the activities violate UN resolutions and international law, pointing out that houses of Palestinians, including those in East Jerusalem, have continued to be destroyed, while violence has occurred frequently.

Representatives of many members of the council voiced their deep concern about the situation and called on all parties to abide by resolutions of the UN, end violence, protect civilians and resume negotiations.

Ambassador Pham Hai Anh, Chargé d'Affaires of the Vietnamese mission to the UN said that settlements in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, have no legal validity and constitute a violation of international law and United Nations resolutions.

Showing concern about the continuous violence recently, he urged all parties to practice restraint and not to conduct actions complicating the situation and hindering negotiations and dialogues.

Vietnam support the intermediary role of the UN and welcomed international cooperation initiatives that help reach a fair, sustainable and long-term solution to the Middle East peace process, he stated.

The ambassador also underlined Vietnam’s support to the two-State solution with East Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestine State, in line with international law and UN resolutions.

The meeting is held every three months to discuss the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2334 (2016) on the peace process in the Middle East.

The same day, Canada announced a grant of 70 million USD to United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

This support, to be delivered in three years, will help respond to the rising needs of vulnerable Palestinian refugees in UNRWA’s 5 areas of operation - the West Bank, Gaza, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan, according to a statement of Canada’s Foreign Ministry.

It added that the aid will allow more than half a million children to receive a quality education and will help finance more than 140 primary health clinics, as well as provide shelter and food to indigent refugees.

From 2016-2019, Canada spent 85 million USD to support UNRWA. It also provided 1.1 million USD in April to help it respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The US used to provide UNRWA with 300 million USD a year, roughly a third of its core annual budget. But President Donald Trump’s government stopped the aid in 2018./.