On the occasion of a United Nations forum, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on Thursday for an end to the half-century Israeli occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza, and the Golan Heights as the “only way to achieve the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.”
In a statement transmitted during the two-day forum entitled “Ending the occupation: The path to independence, justice, and peace for Palestine,” Guterres called for direct negotiations to achieve a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in accordance with international law.
Highlighting the severe humanitarian toll the occupation has taken on Palestinians, Guterres lamented the fact that “generations of Palestinians have grown up in crowded refugee camps, many in abject poverty, and with little or no prospect of a better life for their children.”
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UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Muhammad, who attended the forum, also denounced the impact of the international community’s inaction on Palestinians.
“I understand the deep sense of despair of the Palestinian people,” she said. “For far too long, the international community has failed to find a just and lasting solution to their displacement.”
“The lives of generations of Palestinians and Israelis have been confined by a conflict that has shaped the physical and human landscape with (Israeli) concrete walls, checkpoints, and watchtowers, all under a heavy atmosphere of fear, mutual distrust and despair,” Muhammad added.
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“Some think that the situation can be managed. They are all wrong. It must be resolved,” she stressed, reiterating the UN’s position that only a two-state solution could successfully end the conflict.
(Maan, PC, Social Media)