Palestinians losing hope under ‘stifling’ Israeli occupation
Jan 29, Jerusalem: Amid ongoing violence in the Middle East, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon reiterated today that he can understand why Palestinians are losing hope in the face of nearly 50 years of Israeli occupation, a statement that has provoked criticism that he was “giving terror a tailwind.”
Young people especially are losing hope. Speaking at an opening of the 2016 Session of the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, a day after going before the Security Council to condemn Palestinian attacks against Israeli civilians, he highlighted growing Palestinian frustration, and call on Israel to change its settlement and other policies.
They are angered by the stifling policies of the occupation. They are frustrated by the strictures on their daily lives. They watch as Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, expand and expand. They are losing faith in their own leadership to deliver genuine national reconciliation and see the dream of a sovereign, contiguous and independent Palestinian state slip away.
The people of Palestine have lived through half a century of occupation, and they have heard half a century of statements condemning it. But life hasn’t meaningfully changed. Children have become grandparents. But life hasn’t changed. We issue statements. We express concern. We voice solidarity.
The United Nations is committed to working to create the conditions for the parties to return to meaningful negotiations,” he added, stressing that the one and only path to a just and lasting solution involves an end to the occupation, leading to a sovereign and independent State of Palestine, living side by side in peace and security with the State of Israel.
That is the two-state solution that the diplomatic Quartet – comprising the UN, European Union, Russia and the United States – has been promoting for 15 years.
The Oslo Times