Resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains one of the most intractable challenges facing the international community. Regrettably, over the past year, there have been no positive developments, and the situation on the ground continues to deteriorate.
The intensification of illegal settlements, demolitions of Palestinian homes and the pervasive suffering in Gaza must stop. The establishment of settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation of international law, as stated in Security Council resolution 2334. These actions threaten to undermine the viability of establishing a Palestinian state based on relevant United Nations resolutions. At the same time, the indiscriminate launching of rockets and mortars towards Israeli civilian populations must cease.
I call on Israelis and Palestinians, and all their supporters, to take steps that will restore faith in the two-state solution. There is no viable alternative. It is a dangerous illusion to think that the conflict can be managed or contained in perpetuity. Only constructive negotiations between the parties, in good faith, with support from the international community and adhering to long-standing United Nations resolutions and long-agreed parameters, will bring about a just and durable solution, with Jerusalem as the capital of both states. What is needed, first and foremost, are leadership and political will. The efforts of civil society and those on all sides who seek to bridge the gap between Israelis and Palestinians also need to be supported.
On this International Day of Solidarity, let us reaffirm our commitment to upholding the rights of the Palestinian people. The United Nations will not waver in its commitment to the Palestinian people as we strive to achieve their inalienable rights and build a future of peace, justice, security and dignity for Palestinians and Israelis alike.
Source: UNIC Pretoria South Africa