UN chiefs warns of ‘one-state reality’ in Middle East

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. (AFP)
Updated 06 February 2018
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UN chiefs warns of ‘one-state reality’ in Middle East

UNITED NATIONS: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned Monday that recent developments in the Middle East could create “an irreversible one-state reality” that would bury the two-state solution of a Palestinian state alongside Israel.
“Negative trends on the ground have the potential to create an irreversible one-state reality that is incompatible with realizing the legitimate national, historic and democratic aspirations of both Israelis and Palestinians,” Guterres told a UN meeting of a committee on Palestinian rights.
The UN chief said the global consensus on settling the Israeli-Palestinian conflict “could be eroding, making effective concerted action more difficult to achieve, at a time when it is more important than ever.”
The Middle East peace process was upended when US President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, ignoring the internationally-held view that the status of the holy city would be decided in peace negotiations.
The General Assembly adopted a resolution last month rejecting the US decision by a vote of 128 to nine with 35 abstentions.
The United States has also cut back its funding to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), prompting Guterres to appeal to countries to step in to fill the gap.
Israel’s ongoing construction of settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, violent attacks and the humanitarian crisis in Gaza are dimming prospects for a long-term peace, said the UN chief.
“There is no Plan B,” Guterres told the meeting. “A two-state solution is the only way to achieve the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and secure a sustainable solution to the conflict.”
Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas is due to address the UN Security Council later this month after US Ambassador Nikki Haley said he lacked the courage needed for a peace deal.


Hamas, Israel agree on Gaza cease-fire: Hamas spokesman

Palestinian Paramedic wheel an injured man into the al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City after he was injured by Israeli forces during protests along the border east of Gaza City on July 20, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 17 min 49 sec ago
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Hamas, Israel agree on Gaza cease-fire: Hamas spokesman

GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories: Gaza’s Islamist rulers Hamas and Israel agreed to a cease-fire early Saturday, a spokesman for the Palestinian party said, after five people including an Israeli soldier were killed Friday.
“With international and UN efforts, we reached (an agreement) to return to the previous state of calm between the (Israeli) occupation and the Palestinian factions,” Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said in a statement.