Despite ‘Fragile’ Truce, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Remains, Requiring 2-state Solution, UN Envoy Tells Security Council
Tor Wennesland, the UN’s special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, called on Monday for talks on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Wennesland told the Security Council that the recent exchange of airstrikes and rocket-fire between Israeli military forces and Palestinian armed groups, primarily Islamic Jihad, was a deeply worrying escalation and that the cease-fire declared on Sunday night was fragile. While the de-escalation, facilitated by Egyptian mediation, prevented the outbreak of a full-scale war and facilitated the delivery of humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza on Monday, the roots of the conflict remain. “I want to make the council aware of the following: The cease-fire is fragile. Any resumption of hostilities will only have devastating consequences for Palestinians and Israelis and make any political progress elusive,” he told the Security Council. Wennesland called on the Israeli and Palestinian leadership, along with the international community, to return to meaningful negotiations toward a viable two-state solution. “Ultimately, the underlying drivers of this and previous escalations remain. These cycles of violence will only cease when we achieve a political resolution of the conflict that brings an end to the occupation and the realization of a two-state solution on the basis of the 1967 lines, in line with UN resolutions, international law, and previous agreements,” he said.