Saturday, December 15, 2018

UN Secretary-General says it is “human nature to react to occupation”

By Marta Feirra - January 27, 2016
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [UN] [Two State Solution]

Addressing the UN Security Council on Tuesday, Ban Ki-Moon condemned the violent attacks recently carried out by Palestinians and called for an end to incitement, stating that Palestinian frustration was growing “under the weight of a half-century of occupation”.

He stated that “as oppressed peoples have demonstrated throughout the ages, it is human nature to react to occupation, which often serves as a potent incubator of hate and extremism”.

The secretary-general urged both sides to act to “prevent the two-state solution from slipping away forever”, stressing the importance of freezing settlement building, which he called “an affront to the Palestinian people and to the international community”

Ban Ki-Moon also rejected the idea that Israeli security measures in the West Bank will bring an end to the current wave of violence, which has killed at least 150 Palestinians and about 25 Israelis since the beginning of October.

“Security measures alone will not stop the violence”, the UN secretary-general said. “They cannot address the profound sense of alienation and despair driving some Palestinians – especially young people”, he added. Most of the recent attacks against Israeli soldiers and settlers were carried out by young people.

The Israeli government claimed the violence was a result of Palestinian incitement. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu accused Ban Ki-Moon of providing a “tailwind to terror” after criticism of continuing building of settlements in occupied Palestinian territory.

“There is no justification for terror”, Netanyahu said. “Those Palestinians who murder do not want to build a state, they want to destroy a state”. The Israeli Prime Minister accused the UN of having “lost its neutrality and moral power”.

Ban Ki-Moon’s statements were also criticised by other Israeli political figures, but his comments follow weeks of mounting international criticism of Israeli policies. Diplomats and Israeli analysts warn that Israel is becoming increasingly isolated.

US ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power said the advancing Israeli settlement programme is “fundamentally incompatible with the two-state solution,” adding that it raises “legitimate questions about Israel’s long-term intentions”.

The European Union also reiterated its “strong opposition to Israel’s settlement policy” and actions such as “building the separation barrier beyond the 1967 line, demolitions and confiscation – including of EU funded projects – evictions, forced transfers including of Bedouins, illegal outposts and restrictions of movement and access.”



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