UN Secretary General António Guterres addressing UNSC video conference meeting on Palestinian issue.
New York (UNA-OIC) – United Nations Secretary General António Guterres has called on Israel to scrap plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank, a move that could occur as early as next week.
“We are at a watershed moment,” Guterres told a monthly meeting of the UN Security Council on the Palestinian issue, held via videoconference on Wednesday.
“If implemented, annexation would constitute a most serious violation of international law, grievously harm the prospect of a two-state solution and undercut the possibilities of a renewal of negotiations. I call on the Israeli Government to abandon its annexation plans,” he said.
In supporting the UN chief’s appeal to Israel, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov feared annexation could trigger instability across the occupied Palestinian territory and even beyond.
He urged the international community to work to get the parties to step back and continue the dialogue towards peace, warning that three decades of international peace efforts could be at stake.
“In the coming weeks, decisions may be reached that will do irreparable damage to Palestinian and Israeli societies, to the security and economic wellbeing of both peoples,” Mladenov said.
“This bleak vision, however, is not yet a fait accompli. The window is closing, but there is still time to avert chaos. It will require a concerted effort by all stakeholders and the will to take political risks to achieve peace,” he stressed.