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Outgoing UN chief supports ending Gaza siege

December 17, 2016 at 4:45 pm

Outgoing UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon reiterated on Friday that there is no alternative to the two-state solution and ending the Israeli imposed siege on the Gaza Strip, Turkish state-run Anadolu reported.

In his last briefing to the UN Security Council as the UN chief, Ki-Moon stressed the need for “bold and concrete steps by both Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) that would pave the way for meaningful peace negotiations.”

He said that “Gaza, the West Bank and east Jerusalem have been under military occupation since 1967,” noting that “these lands comprise the future Palestinian state, ultimately to be agreed by the parties through direct negotiations.”

Ki-Moon also criticised Israeli settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories, reiterating Israeli settlement is illegitimate under international law.

He noted that the number of Israeli settlers is currently up to 600,000.

“As I have consistently stated, Israel’s settlement activity beyond the 1967 line is in flagrant violation of international law and the Fourth Geneva Convention,” he said.

Regarding the situation in Gaza, he said: “Gaza is a tinder box and certain to explode unless movement and access restrictions are lifted and humanitarian needs are addressed.”

Ki-Moon said that the increasing pressure of settlement and restrictions on the Gaza Strip are the main obstacles to sustainable development in the Occupied Territories.