United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says the so-called two-state solution is the only way that can guarantee the aspirations of the Palestinian people and put an end to the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“The two-State solution, as defined by UN resolutions, international law and bilateral agreements remain the only path to ensuring that Palestinians and Israelis can both realize their legitimate aspirations,” Guterres said in a message to the 2021 United Nations International Media Seminar on Peace in the Middle East on Tuesday.
Guterres added that the so-called two-state solution would put “an end to the occupation and the realization of two independent, sovereign states, living side‑by‑side in peace and security.”
The UN chief also called for further efforts on the part of Israelis and Palestinians to resume peace talks to enhance the viability of a negotiated two-state solution.
“We must explore every opportunity to revitalize the peace process,” Guterres underlined. “And I urge Israeli and Palestinian leaders to demonstrate the political will necessary to revive and resume dialogue.”
Guterres went on to say that the United Nations remains committed to working with Israelis and Palestinians, and with the international and regional partners, to realize this goal.
Security Council resolutions have in the past called for the two-state solution based on the 1967 boundaries, and pronounced settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem “a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution.”
More than 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967 occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds.
Last month, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas gave Israel one year to withdraw from the decades-long occupied Palestinian territories or face charges at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
Israel occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds during the Six-Day War in 1967. It later annexed East Jerusalem in a move not recognized by the international community.
Palestinians want the resolution of the conflict with Tel Aviv based on the so-called two-state solution along the pre-1967 boundaries. However, the Israeli officials insist on maintaining the occupation of Palestinian territories.
The last round of Israeli-Palestinian talks collapsed in 2014. Among the major sticking points in those negotiations was Israel’s continued settlement construction activities in the occupied lands.