UN chief: ‘Expanding settlements’ shattering hopes for peace
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday blamed, among other things, the “settlements” for impeding peace talks.
The remarks came in a statement by Ban marking the 20th anniversary of the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.
Ban, who offered his deepest sympathies to the citizens of the State of Israel, and, noting current tensions in the region, urged all parties to be guided by the late Israeli leader’s realization “that the path to true security and strength is through dialogue and compromise.”
“Prime Minister Rabin dedicated his life to the security of his homeland,” he said.
“He died after courageously seizing on the need and the opportunity to embark on serious peace negotiations with the Palestinians, recognizing that, as he said, ‘you don’t make peace with friends; you can only make peace with your enemies,’” the statement continued, adding that Rabin was vilified by many for that move “and then murdered by an opponent of the peace process just when it was at a moment of historic breakthrough.
Ban then continued to say that in the years since the assassination, “terrorism, expanding settlements and halting progress in implementing Israeli-Palestinian agreements have repeatedly shattered hopes.”
“Today, the voices of the majority who support peace and oppose violence are being drowned out by inflammatory rhetoric and shocking actions by extremists on all sides,” he warned.
Ban urged all parties to stand firmly against violence and incitement, and to be guided by Prime Minister Rabin’s realization “that the path to true security and strength is through dialogue and compromise.”
The comments come amid a push by the West for Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) to resume peace talks, even as the PA continues to incite to terrorism against Israelis.
Just last week, New Zealand presented a draft UN resolution aimed at reviving the stalled peace.
The draft resolution calls on Israelis and the Palestinians to end the violence, prepare for peace talks and declares the two-state solution to be the “only credible pathway to peace”.
The 10-point measure calls on both sides to refrain from action that could undermine the peace effort “including continued expansion of settlements and demolition of Palestinian homes in the occupied territories.”
New Zealand’s initiative came after France circulated a draft for a council statement that failed to win agreement, highlighting difficulties to forge a consensus in the council.