UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres denounces ’50 years of Israeli occupation’ on Six Day War anniversary
UNITED NATIONS — UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that the five-decades-long Israeli occupation has imposed a “heavy humanitarian and development burden on the Palestinian people” and “fueled recurring cycles of violence and retribution.”
The UN chief expressed his concerns regarding the prospects for regional peace in the Middle East in a statement released on Monday, as Israel marks 50 years since it won the Six Day War in which it reunited Jerusalem.
According to Guterres, the perpetuation of the occupation is also sending “an unmistakable message to generations of Palestinians that their dream of statehood is destined to remain just that, a dream; and to Israelis that their desire for peace, security and regional recognition remains unattainable.”
UN Chief on Monday called for achieving a negotiated two-state solution to resolve the conflict between Israel and Palestine.
“Ending the occupation that began in 1967 and achieving a negotiated two-state outcome is the only way to lay the foundations for enduring peace that meets Israeli security needs and Palestinian aspirations for statehood and sovereignty,” Xinhua quoted Guterres as saying.
Guterres said resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will remove a driver of violent extremism and terrorism in the Middle East and open the doors to cooperation, security, prosperity and human rights for all.
He called on both sides to return to direct negotiations to resolve all final status issues on the basis of relevant UN resolutions, agreements and international law. — Agencies