(AA) – United Nations Security Council actions addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict “are not a substitute for a genuine peace process that will need to be negotiated between both parties,” the UN Middle East special envoy said Monday.
Robert Serry was referring to two planned Security Council proposals envisaging an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands.
He said Security Council action could constitute a “major step” to generate “constructive momentum towards the creation of a meaningful and effective framework for renewed negotiations.”
The U.S.-brokered direct Palestinian-Israeli talks came to a halt in April over Israel’s refusal to release a group of Palestinian prisoners despite earlier pledges to do it.
A Jordanian resolution that sets a November 2016 deadline for an end to the occupation is expected to be voted on in the coming days while France, Germany and the UK are discussing another proposal to set a time frame for negotiations on a final peace deal.
Both motions would require a “yes” vote of at least nine of the 15 council members to pass, but it can be vetoed by any of the permanent members, including the United States, which is likely to oppose them.
Serry said “a dramatic moment” was reached regarding the prospects of peace on the basis of a two-state solution, referring to the UN-proposed solution that calls for two states for two peoples with an independent state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel.
“I am deeply concerned that a one-state reality is on the parties’ doorstep if they fail to address the present deadlock,” he said.
The roots of the Israel-Palestine conflict date to 1917, when the British government, in the now-famous “Balfour Declaration,” called for “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.”
Israel occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the holy city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the self-proclaimed Jewish state – a move never recognized by the international community.
Palestinians want a state of their own in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, with East Jerusalem, currently occupied by Israel, as its capital.