Palestinian official: Israel 'not ready' for peace

Guterres criticized Israel's military control of Palestinian areas, saying it endangers both Israelis and Palestinians.

"The global community's non-recognition of the Israel's occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, proves that the Palestinian cause is firm and that the Palestinian people will not be defeated".

Israel captured the West Bank, eastern Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip, the Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Heights during the 1967 war, which broke out after Egypt, Syria and Jordan mobilized to attack Israel. "Its perpetuation is sending an unmistakable message to generations of Palestinians that their dream of statehood is destined to remain just that, a dream; and to Israelis that their desire for peace, security and regional recognition remains unattainable".

"We seek peace with our neighbours, a real peace, a peace that will last for generations", Netanyahu said at the event, held at the Israeli army's Armoured Corps Museum at Latrun, west of Jerusalem.

Almost 400,000 Palestinians were added to the hundreds of thousands of refugees displaced in 1948 and their homes and villages were razed to the ground by the Israelis.

On this fiftieth year of the occupation, we at Americans for Peace Now are committing to redouble our efforts to demonstrate that the conflict absolutely can be resolved, that it must be resolved, and that reaching and implementing a negotiated political agreement to settle the conflict is a principal responsibility of Israeli and Palestinian leaders, and of worldwide stakeholders, led by the United States.

"Now is the time to end the conflict by establishing an independent Palestinian state, living side by side in peace and security with the State of Israel".

He recalled that in 1947, the world recognized the two-state solution and called for the emergence of “independent Arab and Jewish states” on the basis of UN General Assembly resolution 181. Nineteen years earlier, in 1948, the state of Israel came into being in a violent process that entailed the ethnic cleansing of Palestine. We also work to ensure Israel's future and the viability of Israel's democracy and Jewish character through education, activism and advocacy in the United States, and by mobilizing American support for Shalom Achshav.

Vanessa Coleman

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