Israel's activities obstructing peace in Middle East: Palestine
Riyad Mansour, permanent observer of Palestine to the UN, said here on Monday that Israel's actions toward Palestinians have thwarted the negotiation for true peace in the region, Xinhua reported.
Mansour's statements came at a UN Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East. He said the current situation is "untenable, unsustainable and volatile and requires immediate redress."
Mansour said that the Palestinian government came to direct, U. S.-mediated negotiations in September with a commitment to negotiating a two-state solution to the conflict.
"The Palestinian leadership has for decades been decisively committed to a peaceful settlement in accordance with the two- state solution on the basis of the pre-1967 borders, beginning with the 1988 Declaration of Independence of the State of Palestine and onwards," he said.
The two-state solution, widely accepted by the international community, means a secure Israel to live in peace with an independent Palestinian State.
Mansour said that the recent direct talks have been stalled due to Israel's decision not to renew a 10-month moratorium on extending settlements into Palestinian territory. Mansour called Israel's choice "a major obstacle to peace" and "totally contradictory to the two-State solution and the core principle of land for peace."
According to Mansour, some 8,000 settlers have entered the Occupied Palestinian Territory since January, and violence continues, particularly in East Jerusalem. He said that in this area, many Palestinians have had their homes demolished by Israel or have been evicted.
The situation in the Gaza Strip, Mansour told the Council, also remains "critical." Israel has imposed a blockade on Gaza since 2007. After a violent exchange between Israeli soldiers and protesters trying to break the blockade back on May 31, Israel has stated that it is relaxing the restrictions.
"In spite of Israel's declared intentions to 'ease' its illegal, inhumane blockade, the occupying power continues to obstruct the entry of essential goods to Gaza, with barely 25 percent of needed goods and supplies allowed to enter and continued prohibition on the export of Palestinian goods," Mansour said.
He added that the blockade has impaired the reconstruction process in Gaza, preventing some UN agencies at work in the region from rebuilding schools and other facilities.