United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres concluded today his four days visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories, as part of a Middle East tour, aimed at promoting a renewed international effort to restart a long-stalled process to end the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Guterres declared during a joint press conference with the Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority, Rami Hamdallah, that a two-state solution was the only way forward as it would end, what he referred to as “the suffering of the Palestinian people” and would effectively eliminate Israel’s “occupation” of territories, which the Palestinians demand for their future state. Guterres also emphasized that Netanyahu’s pledge to never-again uproot Israeli settlements from lands the Palestinian demand for their future state contradicts international law and is an obstacle to the internationally aspired two-state solution.
Palestinian Prime Minister Hamdallah seized the opportunity to warn Secretary General Guterres that the internationally aspired “two-state solution is vanishing.” Hamdallah stressed that the viability of reaching the aspired solution was subject to the urgency of the international community, primarily the US Administration, which the Palestinian leader stressed “had to force the international law on Israel.” The comments by the UN Secretary General and Palestinian Prime Minister came just one day after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused the United Nations of pursuing, in an obsessive manner, “flagrant discriminatory tactics” against the Jewish state. Netanyahu further declared that the UN mandate for Israel that aimed at advancing peace, security and international cooperation has “objectively failed.”