Guterres in Ramallah: We'll do everything to realize two-state solution

US President Donald Trump’s administration has resisted taking a position on the issue.

By
August 30, 2017 01:06
2 minute read.
Guterres in Ramallah: We'll do everything to realize two-state solution

PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah (left) walks with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres yesterday during a reception ceremony in Ramallah.. (photo credit: MOHAMAD TOROKMAN/REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, on his first visit to the Palestinian territories since taking office in January, embraced a two-state solution on Tuesday.

US President Donald Trump’s administration has resisted taking a position on the issue.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


 “I want to express very strongly the total commitment of the United Nations [and] my personal total commitment to do everything for a two-state solution to materialize,” Guterres told a joint press conference in Ramallah, alongside Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah.

“I have said several times there is no Plan B to a two-state solution,” the secretary-general continued.

On Thursday, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert suggested that supporting the two-state solution would bias the US in favor of the Palestinians.

“We are not going to state what the outcome has to be,” Nauert said in response to a question about the two-state solution. “It has to be workable to both sides. That’s the best view as to not really bias one side over the other, to make sure that they can work through it.”

Guterres also sharply criticized settlement construction during Tuesday’s press conference, characterizing it as an obstacle to the achievement of a two-state solution.

“We recognize that settlement activity... is illegal under international law and that settlement activity is an obstacle that needs to be removed in relation to the possibility of the two-state solution to be adequately implemented,” he said.

In his meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday in Jerusalem, Guterres also stated his disapproval of settlement construction.

Netanyahu holds that settlements are not an obstacle to achieving peace, but rather the Palestinians’ unwillingness to recognize Israel as a Jewish state and crack down on incitement.


Hamdallah expressed his frustration that UN Security Council resolutions pertaining to the Israel-Palestinian conflict have not been implemented, accusing the UN of applying a double standard in its dealings with Israel.

“Not compelling Israel to respect and implement UN Security Council resolutions weakens our people’s confidence and trustworthiness in the UN to bring about peace and security, and reinforces the oppression practiced against our people,” Hamdallah said. “Dealing with [Israel] as a state above the law reflects a double standard.”

The Palestinian leadership in Ramallah celebrated the passage of UN Security Council Resolution 2334 in December, according to which settlements have “no legal validity” and “constitute a flagrant violation of international law and a major obstacle to the achievement... of a just, lasting and comprehensive peace.”

Since then, Israel has continued building settlements and Netanyahu vowed on Monday never to uproot any of them.

Hamdallah also called on the UN to pressure Israel to lift its blockade on the Gaza Strip.

“Israel, which has placed a siege on Gaza for more than 10 years, bears responsibility for the humanitarian situation,” Hamdallah said.

While Israel heavily limits the movement of people and goods in and out of Gaza, the PA government has recently decreased its expenditures on electricity and medical services in the Strip to pressure Hamas to cede control of the territory.

Hamas has controlled Gaza since 2007, when it forcibly took it over, ousting the Fatah-dominated PA.

Following his meeting with Hamdallah, Guterres visited the Yasser Arafat Museum and laid a wreath on the former PA president’s tomb.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Palestinian demonstrators shout during clashes with Israeli troops at a protest
December 14, 2018
Forty-six injured in 'March of Return' protest along Israeli-Gazan border

By ZACHARY KEYSER