UN Envoy: Israel and Palestinians Must Choose, One-state Reality or Two-state Solution

It's up to both parties to live up to their commitment to the peace process, says Robert Serry.

The Associated Press
The Associated Press
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UN's special coordinator for the Middle East peace process Robert Serry.Credit: Tomer Appelbaum
The Associated Press
The Associated Press

The United Nation's top Mideast envoy said Tuesday that Israel and the Palestinians must decide whether to entrench the current "one-state reality" or find a way to salvage the two-state solution following their failure to reach a peace agreement during a nine-month negotiating period.

Robert Serry, the coordinator for the Middle East peace process, told the UN Security Council on Tuesday that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon firmly believes there is a window for a two-state solution.

But he said the parties must reflect whether they want to live up to their stated commitment to the two-state solution, or whether they will let it slip further away by default.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry had envisioned brokering a final peace agreement when he brought the sides together last July with an April 29 deadline for restarting official talks, but the negotiations made no progress. 

With the nine-month period for U.S.-brokered negotiations ending on Tuesday, Chief Palestinian Negotiator Saeb Erekat said that Israel actively sabotaged talks, using every opportunity to consolidate its "apartheid regime."   

"To build settlements in occupied land, kill Palestinians and demolish hundreds of Palestinian homes is certainly not the behavior of a government that wants to end occupation but of a government that wants to turn occupation into annexation," Erekat said, according to the Palestinian Ma'an news agency.

Erekat added that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used "every possible tool in order to consolidate its apartheid regime."

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, meanwhile, said Tuesday that there would be no peace with Israel without the definition of borders of a future Palestinian state.

"Since the creation of Israel, nobody knows what the borders are. We are determined to know our borders and theirs, without that there will be no peace," he said, according to AFP.