Jerusalem Should Be Capital of Both Israel and Palestine: UN Secretary-General

As the Israel-Palestine Conflict escalates, the UN Secretary-General declared that there is no alternate plan except the peace restoring efforts between Israel and Palestine. The UN secretary-general emphasised on a peaceful solution can be attained through the creation of two states living together, peacefully.

Israel-Palestine Conflict Intensifies Over Who Controls Jerusalem – The Holy City

During his speech at the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said: “based on relevant UN resolutions, long-held principles, previous agreements, and international law, Jerusalem should be the capital of both States”.

Regarding the protests that began along the border fence with Gaza that left hundreds dead by Israeli security forces, Guterres said: “Unfortunately, over this past year, the situation has not moved in that direction.” He also appealed to Hamas authorities in Gaza to prevent provocations by saying, “Thanks to the UN and Egyptian mediation efforts, a major escalation was avoided.”

The UN chief said under International Humanitarian Law Israel too has a responsibility to exercise “maximum restraint”, except as a last option. Guterres repented Israel’s decision not to renew the mandate of the Temporary International Presence in Hebron, saying “I hope an agreement can be found by the parties to preserve this long-standing and valuable arrangement”.

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“Palestinians have endured more than a half-century of occupation and denial of their legitimate right to self-determination” with both sides continuously suffering from “deadly cycles of violence”, Guterres added.

He emphasized that the UN firmly supports Palestinian reconciliation and “the return of the legitimate Palestinian Government to Gaza” as “an integral part of a future Palestinian State”. Regarding the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza, he detailed that some two million Palestinians remained mired in increasing poverty and unemployment, with limited access to adequate health, education, water, and electricity, leaving young people with “little prospect of a better future”.

Praising the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) for its “critical work” in Gaza, the occupied West Bank and across the region, he called on the international community to “significantly” increase efforts to restore Gaza’s economy. The UN chief indicated that Israeli construction and settlement plans have expanded, including in East Jerusalem.

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