The status quo in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is unsustainable, Jordan’s King Abdullah told the UN General Assembly, as he called for a two-state resolution to the conflict.
“How many more children will die before the world wakes up?” Abdullah said on Wednesday in a pre-recorded message played at the opening session of the 76th UNGA in New York.
خطاب جلالة الملك عبدالله الثاني في اجتماعات الجمعية العامة للأمم المتحدة في دورتها السادسة والسبعين #الأردن #الأمم_المتحدةHis Majesty King Abdullah II’s speech at the 76th Plenary Session of the United Nations General Assembly#Jordan #UNGA pic.twitter.com/QSox3Evz0Y— RHC (@RHCJO) September 22, 2021
US President Joe Biden spoke to the UNGA on Tuesday of his support for a two-state resolution to the conflict, but said that “we’re a long way from that goal at the moment.”
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who is expected to address the forum next week, has said bluntly that he does not support Palestinian statehood and has no intention to enter into negotiations for such a resolution.
Jordan, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority have pushed back at the idea of putting a resolution to the conflict on the back burner, warning that this would be a mistake.
“The bitter war on Gaza this past year was a reminder that the current situation is simply unsustainable,” King Abdullah said. “Genuine security for either side – indeed, for the whole world – can only be achieved through the two-step solution, a solution that leads to the establishment of an independent, sovereign, and viable Palestinian state on the basis of the June 1967 lines, with east Jerusalem as its capital, living side-by-side with Israel in peace and security.”
Abdullah also referenced his country’s special connection as the custodian of the city’s Islamic and Christian sites.
He told the GA that the time had come for Jerusalem to unite rather than divide the three monotheistic religions.
“I believe Jerusalem’s holiness to Muslims, Christians and Jews can and must bring us together,” he said. “With international help, the holy city can be, not a cause of division, but a symbol of unity for all to see.”
Jordan, along with the PA, has been concerned that Israel wants to change the status quo understanding with regard to those sites, particularly with respect to the Temple Mount.
An arrangement put in place after the 1967 Six Day War has allowed only for Muslims to worship at the site, which is the holiest site in Judaism. The Israeli Right has increasingly pushed back at that arrangement, and informal Jewish prayer does occur on the Temple Mount.