Obama at UNGA urges Palestinians to end “incitement”, urging Israel to end “occupation”

Against the backdrop of terror attacks in New York, a surge in violence in both Jerusalem and the West Bank and the collapse of the nationwide cessation of hostilities in Syria, the 71st UN General Assembly began last night with the attendance of world leaders, including US President Barack Obama. On the Israeli-Palestinian issue, Obama noted that the situation would be better if the Palestinians were to stop their incitement and were to recognize Israel’s legitimacy, and if Israel were to recognize that it could not continue the occupation permanently: “And surely, Israelis and Palestinians will be better off if Palestinians reject incitement and recognize the legitimacy of Israel, but Israel recognizes that it cannot permanently occupy and settle Palestinian land,” said the US president.

Obama’s efforts to bring about an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement have failed over the nearly eight years he has been in the White House, with the latest push by US Secretary of State John Kerry collapsing in 2014.