29th November 2023 – (Geneva) The United Nations has urged the international community to embrace a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with Jerusalem serving as the capital for both states. Tatiana Valovaya, Director-General of the UN office in Geneva, delivered a speech on behalf of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, emphasizing the need to pursue a resolution in accordance with United Nations resolutions and international law.
Valovaya asserted that it was high time to make decisive progress towards a two-state solution, envisioning Israel and Palestine coexisting in peace and security, with Jerusalem as the capital for both nations. These remarks were made to coincide with the United Nations’ observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, which commemorates the General Assembly’s endorsement of a plan to partition Palestine and establish international governance over Jerusalem.
Calls for a two-state solution have intensified following the 7th October attacks on Israel by Hamas gunmen, resulting in the loss of 1,200 lives and the taking of 240 hostages. In response, Israel launched a military offensive against Hamas-controlled Gaza, resulting in a significant death toll of over 15,000 people, as reported by Palestinian health authorities in the densely-populated enclave.
A two-state agreement would entail the creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, alongside Israel. Israel has insisted that any Palestinian state should be demilitarised to ensure its security is not compromised.
The Palestinians advocate for East Jerusalem, including its sacred sites revered by Muslims, Jews, and Christians, to be recognised as the capital of their state. Meanwhile, Israel maintains that Jerusalem should remain its “indivisible and eternal” capital.
Ibrahim Khraishi, the Palestinian ambassador to the UN in Geneva, highlighted that the ongoing conflict has served as a wake-up call for the international community to support the two-state solution. Despite the challenges posed by Israeli settlements and territorial constraints, Khraishi emphasized that the possibility of a two-state resolution still exists if there is genuine determination. He urged Israel to seize this moment, as accepting the idea would be beneficial for their own interests, warning that time is running out.
As the Israeli-Palestinian conflict persists, the United Nations’ call for a two-state solution reflects ongoing efforts to find a peaceful and sustainable resolution that addresses the aspirations and security concerns of both nations.