UN’s Ban Ki-Moon in Tel Aviv: “50 Years of Occupation Has Had Devastating Impact on Palestinians”

“They hold crafty converse against Thy people, and take counsel against Thy treasured ones.” Psalms 83:4 (The Israel Bible™)

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said on Monday that Palestinian attacks against Israelis only serve to make the situation for both Israelis and Palestinians worse off. Ban made the comments at a press conference with Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin at his Jerusalem residence.

“Such acts are precisely designed to breed fear and uncertainty,” he said. “They eat away at trust and hope, drive Palestinians and Israelis farther apart and strip away a sense of empathy for one another.”

“Stabbings, shootings and bombings will not achieve anything because violence is never a solution,” added Ban. “Tel Aviv is a vivid example. I offer my deepest condolences to the victims and their families and friends.”

Ban Ki-Moon, however, implicitly laid some responsibility with Israel’s control of Judea and Samaria since 1967 for the absence of a belief in peace among Palestinians.

“I must be equally clear that nearly 50 years of occupation has had a devastating impact on Palestinians’ lives, undermining the belief in a peaceful resolution to this conflict,” claimed the UN Secretary-General. “I firmly believe that a two-state solution remains the only viable option to prevent perpetual conflict and to achieve the legitimate aspirations of both peoples,” he continued.

Ban called for Israeli and Palestinian leaders to assume responsibility in moving the peace process forward.

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“Leaders on both sides need to urgently take concrete steps to restore hope and the political horizon so that the Israeli and Palestinian people see a pathway to peace, not a quagmire of recurring violence.”

President Reuven Rivlin emphasized what he described as an already existing effort among Israel and regional partners to implement a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“As you know, there is growing cooperation between Israel and many of our neighbours,” said Rivlin to Ban Ki-Moon. “There is, I believe, a regional desire to bring an end to the conflict with the Palestinians.”

Ban Ki-Moon also provided an update for the upcoming report by the Quartet, comprising of the United States, European Union, United Nations and Russia, which will reportedly include a number of recommendations to be taken by Israel and the Palestinian Authority to restart direct negotiations with one another yet again.

“The Middle East Quartet is completing a balanced and fair report on the situation and the obstacles to the two-state solution,” Ban said. “Once it is published, I encourage Israeli and Palestinian leaders to engage with the Quartet on its recommendations on creating the conditions for the resumption of meaningful negotiations.”

“The United Nations stands ready to support all efforts in achieving these goals,” Ban added.

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