A Palestinian protester prepares his sling to hurl stones towards Israeli troops during clashes near Jenin.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
NEW YORK - Following their meeting in Munich on Friday, representatives of the Quartet on the Middle East expressed “serious concern” that “continued acts of violence against civilians, ongoing settlement activity, and the high rate of demolitions of Palestinian structures” are “dangerously imperiling the viability of a two-state solution”.
The Quartet also condemned all acts of terror and reiterated its call for restraint and for Israel and the Palestinians to “reject incitement and actively take steps to de-escalate the current tensions.”
The group’s representatives - European Union High Representative Federica Mogherini, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, United States Secretary of State John Kerry, and Deputy United Nations Secretary-General Jan Eliasson - also stressed that “unilateral actions by either party cannot prejudge the outcome of a negotiated solution.”
“The status quo is not sustainable and significant steps, consistent with the transition contemplated by prior agreements, are urgently needed to stabilize the situation and to reverse negative trends on the ground,” the body wrote in a statement. “The continued absence of such steps was leading to further deterioration, to the detriment of both Israelis and Palestinians.”
According to the Quartet, “both sides must swiftly demonstrate through policies and actions, a genuine commitment to a two-state solution in order to rebuild trust and avoid a cycle of escalation.”
The group, involved in mediating the peace process between Israel and Palestinians, said it is still committed to achieving a “negotiated, comprehensive, just and enduring resolution” of the conflict, but emphasized that “a robust Palestinian economy, enhanced governance capacity, and genuine Palestinian unity” will serve as cornerstones of a Palestinian state and are essential elements to reuniting Gaza and the West Bank under one Palestinian authority.
The Quartet also called on international partners to accelerate efforts to address “the dire situation in Gaza” and stated it will prepare a report on the situation on the ground, including recommendations for moving forward.