Kerry Warns: Escalation in Israeli-Palestinian Violence Illustrates One-state Reality

U.S. secretary of state calls current situation 'unsustainable'; Jerusalem official says Israel expressed opposition to New Zealand's UN bid to restart Israeli-Palestinian talks.

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John Kerry, October 28, 2015.
John Kerry, October 28, 2015.Credit: AP
ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday that the escalation in violence between Israel and the Palestinians offers a glimpse into a reality of one state for two peoples. 

In a speech in Washington, Kerry said that the U.S. is committed to advancing the two-state solution, which he described as "the only viable alternative."

"Anybody who thinks otherwise can measure what unitary looks like by just looking at what's been occurring over the past few weeks," he said. 

Kerry noted that the unrest has hurt both Israelis and Palestinians. 

"The current situation is simply not sustainable," he said.

"Israel should support Palestinians they can work with and take steps on the ground and Palestinians should stop incitement, offer more than just rhetoric and take into consideration Israeli security needs."

Meanwhile, a senior official in Jerusalem said that Israel has expressed opposition in recent days to the draft resolution New Zealand is advancing in the UN Security Council with the aim of restarting the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

According the official, the head of the Foreign Ministry's Division for the UN and International Organizations, Aharon Leshno-Yaar, called New Zealand's ambassador to Israel, Jonathan Curr, earlier this week, and made clear that Israel does not condone the Security Council's dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, especially at this time, amid a wave of terrorism.

The resolution New Zealand is preparing calls on Israel to freeze construction and home demolitions in the West Bank, and urges the Palestinians to desist from taking steps against Israel at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, as part of a series of confidence-building steps ahead of a hoped-for resumption of peace talks.

A few months ago, during his visit to Jerusalem, New Zealand's Foreign Minister Murray McCully told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about his intention to introduce the draft resolution. McCully told Netanyahu that the draft won't deal with a solution to the conflict, but will call for the resumption of the peace talks. Netanyahu did not reject the idea at the time.

The draft resolution, which was distributed among the 14 members of the UN Security Council on Friday, was first reported on by Haaretz on Wednesday.