A wounded child is seen in a hospital in Damascus, capital of Syria, on Feb.20, 2018. Tens of people have been taken to the hospitals Tuesday due to the intensified rebels' mortar attack that targeted several parts of Damascus as part of an ongoing military showdown between the rebels and the government forces. (Xinhua/Ammar Safarjalani)
UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- The UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process Nikolay Mladenov warned on Tuesday that tensions in the Middle East are taking "an increasingly perilous turn."
Fighting in Syria is increasing, endangering de-escalation arrangements and regional stability, as well as undermining efforts for a political solution. Despite the positive news from Iraq and the defeat of the Islamic State terrorist group, much of the Middle East continues to be in the grips of an ongoing human tragedy of immense proportions, Mladenov told the Security Council.
A picture taken on Feb. 20, 2018 shows smoke plumes rising following a reported regime air strike in the rebel-held town of Hamouria, in the besieged Eastern Ghouta region on the outskirts of the capital Damascus. (Xinhua/AFP)
Against this backdrop and after over a century of hostilities, including 50 years of continued military occupation, Israelis and Palestinians are still no closer to peace, he said.
"The enemies of peace are growing more confident by the day. They see every failure of the forces of moderation as a win for the forces of radicalisation. They believe the political odds are turning in their favor. Day after day they are emboldened."
Israeli border policemen stand on a road during a protest against U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, near the Jewish settlement of Beit El, near the West Bank city of Ramallah Dec. 15, 2017. (Xinhua/REUTERS)
"None of this will bring us closer to resolving the conflict. None of it will respond to the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to statehood or the Israeli longing for security. It will only drive us further down the road of confrontation, suffering and a one-state reality of perpetual occupation," he said.