UN chief calls on Israel, Palestine to return to negotiations for 2-state solution

‘This latest round of violence only perpetuates cycles of death, destruction and despair... ’ says Antonio Guterres

Anadolu Agency May 16, 2021
United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE


The UN chief on Sunday called on Israel and Palestine to end “senseless cycle of bloodshed, terror and destruction” and return to negotiations for a two-state solution of the conflict.

“The current hostilities are utterly appalling. This latest round of violence only perpetuates the cycles of death, destruction and despair, and pushes farther to the horizon any hopes of coexistence and peace,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said during his address at the UN Security Council (UNSC).

The UNSC has met for the third time to discuss the escalating tension between Israel and Palestine and Israel’s recent air raids on Gaza.

“Rockets and mortars on one side and aerial and artillery bombardments on the other must stop,” Guterres urged.

Read more: Israel air strikes kill 33 more Palestinians, death toll jumps to 181

The UN continues to negotiate with all parties for a cease-fire, he said, stressing that “leaders on all sides have a responsibility to curb inflammatory rhetoric and calm the rising tensions.”

Guterres said he is “appalled” by the deaths of Palestinian civilians, including women and children, in Gaza. He also “deplored” Israeli fatalities from rockets launched from Gaza.

The UN chief also warned that conflicts are dragging not only Israelis and Palestinians but also the region into a spiral of violence with devastating consequences and could create a new danger for the entire region.

A total of 181 Palestinians, including 52 children and 31 women, have been killed and 1,225 more injured since Israel started attacks on Gaza last Monday.

The tensions spread from East Jerusalem to Gaza after Palestinian resistance groups there vowed to retaliate against Israeli assaults on the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Sheikh Jarrah if they were not halted.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. It annexed the entire city in 1980 in a move never recognised by the international community.



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