Tension in al-Quds: Guterres reaffirms commitment to two-state solution

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Saturday discussed escalating tensions in al-Quds with Palestinian and Israeli leaders, reaffirming his commitment to a two-state solution, in particular based on relevant UN resolutions.

According to a UN statement, in separate phone calls with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, the UN SG called on the situation in al-Quds, and in particular, to reduce the current tension and restore peace. The efforts made for the purpose were also discussed.

During these talks, Guterres also reiterated that the status quo at holy sites should be maintained and respected.

He also expressed concern about the financial condition of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

Established in 1949, UNRWA manages the reception, education, health care, social security and microcredit of 5.7 million Palestinian refugees in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan or the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including Al-Quds East.

Due to an unprecedented financial crisis, the United Nations agency has cut its budget by $500 million over the past five years, including staff cuts, cessation of maintenance works and necessary investments in its infrastructure, up to 50 in class sizes. Strict measures have been adopted, including escalation. Lack of pupils and significant humanitarian assistance per teacher.

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