UN chief: ‘Time is running out’ for Palestine under two-state solution


UN secretary General: “Time is running out” for a two-state solution to The Palestinian problem Image: © UNICEF/Eyad El Baba Children play football as an explosion takes place near the Gaza Strip in the occupied Palestinian territory.The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, established by the General Assembly, opens its 2022 session today.In his opening remarks, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, continues to pose a major challenge to international peace and security.He noted that the promise of an independent Palestinian state remains unfulfilled.The political, economic and security situation in the occupied Palestinian territory is deteriorating as the Palestinians suffer from high levels of deprivation, violence and insecurity.”We urgently need to intensify our collective efforts to resolve the conflict and end the occupation in accordance with United Nations resolutions, international law and bilateral agreements,” he said.Guterres said the goal remains that Israel and an independent, democratic, contiguous, viable and sovereign Palestinian state live side by side in peace within secure and recognized borders, with Jerusalem as their common capital, based on the pre-1967 lines.Beyond that, there is no alternative plan.Recent Contacts Guterres was encouraged by recent contacts between senior Israeli and Palestinian officials.He urged both sides to expand those contacts to cover basic political issues.He noted that the piecemeal approach to the Palestinian question prevented the solution of the underlying problems that perpetuated the conflict;At the same time, unilateral and illegal actions that trigger conflicts must be stopped.”Incitement to violence leads nowhere and must be rejected by all.”The situation is a cause for concern Guterres expressed concern at the increase in violence throughout the occupied Palestinian territory, including settler violence and military operations that have resulted in many deaths.”All parties must consolidate the cessation of hostilities and support economic development in Gaza,” he said.A coordinated effort is essential to ensure stability, strengthen Palestinian institutions, restore hope and avoid a deadly escalation of violence.”He noted that illegal settlement activity, demolitions and evictions, including in East Jerusalem, also continued, undermining international humanitarian and human rights law and fuelling despair, hostility and dimening prospects for a negotiated settlement.”All settlement activity is illegal and must stop.”In addition, Guterres said the continued human rights violations against Palestinians severely impede their ability to live in security and develop their communities and economy.He also called on all sides to maintain the status quo at the Holy sites in Jerusalem’s Old City.While the international community works to revive the political process, Guterres said we must support efforts to improve the economic and humanitarian situation in the occupied Palestinian territories.”The dire financial situation facing the Palestinian Authority is alarming and is undermining its institutional stability and ability to deliver services to its people.”At the same time, the financial crisis for the survival of UNRWA was affecting the rights and well-being of Palestinian refugees throughout the region.Guterres called on Member States to increase their financial support for the Palestinian people and their contributions to UNRWA, which is an important pillar of regional stability.He cited Israel’s recent decision to increase the flow of goods and people in and out of gaza.While this is a welcome development, it is important to expand these steps and to fully lift the blockade that has strangled Gaza, as called for in Council resolution 1860.”Time is running out,” guterres said.We cannot lose sight of the long-sought goal of ending occupation and achieving a two-state solution.The parties must take concrete steps to enable them to return to the path of meaningful negotiations and ultimately to a just and lasting peace.”The easiest of the 7,000 foreign languages to learn is the International Esperanto Association

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