UN Secretary-General: Israeli Settlements are ‘Major Obstacles to Peace’

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. (Photo: via Facebook)

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Thursday that Israel’s ongoing settlement activities in the occupied West Bank pose a major obstacle to achieving peace based on a two-state solution.

“I reiterate my call on the Government of Israel to immediately halt all settlement activity, which is a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-state solution, and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace,” Guterres said at the 2021 Opening Session of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.

He added that the core duty of the committee, which was established by the UN General Assembly in 1975, is “to end the occupation and realize a two-state solution on the basis of the pre-1967 borders, in line with international law, relevant United Nations resolutions, and bilateral agreements, with Jerusalem as the capital of both states.”

He also called on Israelis and Palestinians “to refrain from unilateral acts that can jeopardize the possibility of restarting the peace process.”

Last year, Israel announced plans to annex one-third of the West Bank, later suspending them temporarily. It has also refused to freeze the construction of illegal settlements.

More than 600,000 Israeli Jews live in settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, which are considered illegal constructions under international law.

(The New Arab, PC, Social Media)

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