UN aid chief: Post-war Gaza governance and security must be under Palestinian control

Martin Griffiths firmly rejects idea of sending UN peacekeepers into Gaza

An area destroyed in the Israeli offensive in Jabalia, in the northern Gaza Strip. AP
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The UN's aid chief said on Tuesday that the governance and security of post-war Gaza must be under Palestinian control.

“It must be centred within the Palestinian Authority and their dispensation,” Martin Griffiths told reporters in New York.

“And it's not clear to me, at the moment, what role the UN would have in those two areas."

Mr Griffiths, who is leaving his post at the end of June, firmly rejected the idea of sending UN peacekeepers into Gaza.

“It's not going to happen. We shouldn't rely on that. We need to find other ways to provide security in Gaza.”

The veteran diplomat stressed the urgency of defining roles in supporting security measures, in the West Bank and Gaza.

“I think it's an urgent matter to have those roles determined. I was in the Gulf region about 10 days ago and had very detailed discussions, from my perspective … on that,” Mr Griffiths said.

He said planning was particularly important for the people of Gaza, who “deserve a horizon of hope".

“The failure of hope for those so serially displaced in Gaza has been a terrible, terrible sight and a stain, as you know, on our common humanity,” Mr Griffiths said.

French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday told Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a phone call that the Palestinian Authority, which rules parts of the occupied West Bank, should “ensure the governance” of the Gaza Strip after the war.

The UN human rights office in Geneva called for an end to violence in the West Bank, where it said Israeli security forces and Jewish settlers have killed more than 500 Palestinians since the start of the war in Gaza.

It said in a statement that Israel had used “unnecessary and disproportionate” force in the occupied West Bank, and condemned what it said was the systematic denial of medical aid.

Violence in the West Bank worsened after a Hamas-led attack on Israel last October, in which 1,200 people died, prompting Israel's military response in Gaza.

The Gaza Health Ministry has reported more than 36,500 Palestinian deaths in the months since the war began.

Updated: June 04, 2024, 7:24 PM