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UNSG: 'Demolitions, illegal settlements, evictions will not bring peace'

Nov. 29, 2018 2:45 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 30, 2018 11:04 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- “More than 40 years ago, the General Assembly established an International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people to remind us of our collective, unfinished task of resolving the question of Palestine,” said the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

“Over the decades, this has become one of the most intractable challenges for the international community, and we know only too well the tragic results,” Guterres said in his annual address marking the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, which coincides on November 29, the day the General Assembly voted in 1947 to partition Palestine and create Israel that led to the majority of Palestinians losing their homes and land and become refugees.

Guterres added, “Demolitions, illegal continued settlement expansion and construction, forced evictions and collective punitive measures will not bring peace.”

“Unilateral steps will not resolve final status issues or the conflict. Only constructive negotiations, in good faith, and adhering to the long-established and agreed parameters for a two-state solution, will bring the desired, long-lasting solution. Containing the situation is not sufficient.”

“I call on all actors, and first and foremost the leadership of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, to take bold steps and restore faith in the promise of Resolution 181 (partition of Palestine resolution), of two states living side-by-side in peace and security, fulfilling the legitimate national aspirations of both peoples, with borders based on the 1967 lines and Jerusalem as the capital of both states, with East Jerusalem being the capital of the Palestinian state.”

“It is the only way to achieve the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.”

Guterres continued, “It is the only option for a comprehensive and just peace, and I call on the international community to intensify its engagement and reiterate its commitment to assist Palestinians and Israelis in reaching the two-State solution.”

Guterres urged Israel to lift restrictions on the movement of people and goods in the besieged Gaza Strip, stressing that the United Nations “will not waver in its commitment to the Palestinian people.”

He concluded his address by stressing, “On this International Day of Solidarity, let us reaffirm our commitment to upholding the rights of the Palestinian people and to building a future of peace, justice, security and dignity for Palestinians and Israelis alike.”

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