United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Israeli and Palestinian leaders must recognize a two-state resolution to the Israeli based on the pre-1967 lines with east Jerusalem as its capital, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Wednesday.
“I call on all actors, and first and foremost the leadership of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, to take bold steps and restore faith in the promise of Resolution 181, of two states living side-by-side in peace and security, fulfilling the legitimate national aspirations of both peoples, with borders based on the 1967 lines and Jerusalem as the capital of both states – East Jerusalem being the capital of the Palestinian state,” Guterres said.
He spoke at a meeting of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People that was held in advance of the day that UN holds is International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.It marks the 71st anniversary of the US passage of Resolution 181
, which called for independent Jewish and Arab states on territory that had been under British control since the end of World War I. At the time it was accepted by Jews and rejected by the Arabs.
Guterres said that the UN had created the day of solidarity 40 years ago to remind people of the unfinished task of resolving the Palestinian issue.
The Secretary-General charged both Israelis and Palestinians with taking steps to harm the peace process. To Israel, he said, “demolitions, illegal continued settlement expansion and construction, forced evictions and collective punitive measures will not bring peace.”
Israel must also lift its restrictions on the flow of goods and people into the Gaza Strip and act with restraint along the Gaza border, he said.
Guterres urged Hamas to “halt their military build-up in Gaza, including the indiscriminate launching of rockets and incendiary devices directed at Israel.”
“Palestinians in Gaza have legitimate grievances and the right to demonstrate peacefully,” he said. “Hamas and the leaders of the demonstrations have a responsibility to prevent violent actions and provocations,” he added.
“On this International Day of Solidarity, let us reaffirm our commitment to upholding the rights of the Palestinian people and to building a future of peace, justice, security and dignity for Palestinians and Israelis alike,” Guterres said.
A representative of the Arab League called on UN member states to recognize Palestine as a state. Both he and Guterres called on Hamas and Fatah to reconcile.
On Thursday afternoon in New York the UN General Assembly will hold a special meeting on the Palestinian right to self-determination. It’s expected that a number of pro-Palestinian resolutions will be presented to the assembly along with a US resolution condemning Hamas violence. The debate will continue on Friday.
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