'Save peace', urges UN chief

UN Secretary General warns that hopes for a two-state solution are fading fast.

Elad Benari ,

Ban Ki-moon
Ban Ki-moon

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday warned that hopes for a two-state solution to solve the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) are fading fast.

Marking the "International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People," which the UN holds annually on November 29, Ban spoke out against Israeli “settlement building” and home demolitions which, he claimed, undermine Israeli democracy.

But he also criticized the Palestinians' "paralyzing lack of unity" and warned that their infighting has damaged their own democracy and the rule of law.

Ban told both sides that unless they act to revive hopes for peace, "they risk entrenching a one-state reality."

Ban hailed a July report by the Middle East Quartet -- the United Nations, European Union, Russia and the United States -- as a blueprint for revived talks.

The report called on Israel to halt its construction in Judea and Samaria, but also called on the PA to stop inciting to violence and terrorism.

Israel rejected the report due to the fact that it equated between PA incitement to terrorism and Israeli construction in Judea and Samaria.

Similarly, PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas called on the UN Security Council to reject the report, saying it "does not further the cause for peace."

Peace talks between Israel and the PA have been frozen since 2014, when an American initiative failed after the PA unilaterally applied to join international treaties and conventions in breach of the conditions of the talks.

In recent months, France has attempted to jumpstart the peace process with an initiative aiming to convene an international peace conference by the end of the year.

Israeli officials recently reiterated Israel’s firm opposition to the initiative. Israel insists that the only way to achieve peace is through direct talks with the PA, which the PA refuses.