Security Council calls for 'two-state solution' to be respected

UN Security Council reiterates support for "two-state solution" and stresses need to make an effort to launch credible peace negotiations.

Elad Benari ,

UN Security Council
UN Security Council

The UN Security Council made a rare show of unity Monday when it called on all parties to maintain their support for a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian Arab conflict.

"Council Members reiterated their support for a negotiated two state solution ... where two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, live side by side in peace within secure and recognized borders," said a statement quoted by AFP and released by Belgium, which holds the rotating presidency, and supported by all 14 other members, including the United States.

"All parties should refrain from undermining the viability of the two states solution in order to maintain the prospects for a just, comprehensive and lasting peace," the statement added, in an allusion to Israel's announcement last week on construction of new homes in Jerusalem.

The council also "stressed the need to exert collective efforts to launch credible negotiations on all final status issues" and expressed "grave concern about acts of violence against civilians."

The statement did not specifically mention US President Donald Trump’s so-called “Deal of the Century” for peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA), which has been criticized by the European Union and also by the PA.

The statement came after two days of tensions in southern Israel as Islamic Jihad terrorists fired more than 80 rockets towards communities near the Gaza border.

Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon had asked the council members to condemn the rocket fire from Gaza.

"Dozens of rockets fired from Gaza into Israel indicate a clear intention by terror entities in the Gaza Strip to escalate the situation. Israel is acting with determination and responsibility to remove the threat to its citizens and will not hesitate to continue its defensive actions,” he said.

"The international community should condemn the rocket fire from Gaza and act against warmongering terror organizations," added the Israeli ambassador.

Security officials said on Monday evening that various members of the Islamic Jihad had sent messages through Egyptian mediation expressing their desire for an immediate ceasefire.

While reports said the ceasefire will go into effect at 10:00 p.m., sirens were heard in the south until shortly after 11:00 p.m.