The UN Mideast envoy is warning that if the window of opportunity for peace between Israel and the Palestinians isn't seized quickly, the conflict "will be engulfed in the whirlwind of religious radicalization that remains present in the region."
Nickolay Mladenov told the UN Security Council Tuesday that "the enemies of peace are growing more confident by the day" and believe "the political odds are tilting in their favor."
Mladenov said that "as the peace process falters and the gulf between the two sides widens, Palestinians and Israelis continue to suffer the violent consequences on the ground."
He also warned that without immediate steps to address the humanitarian crisis in Hamas-ruled Gaza and revive its economy, "we will face a total institutional and economic collapse in Gaza." He stressed: "This is not an alarmist prediction -- it is a fact."
Mladenov urged the international community "not to give up on support for the moderate Palestinian leadership" and said Palestinian unity is crucial for a Palestinian state.