King Abdullah II of Jordan has called the continued occupation of Palestine and the expansion of Israeli settlements a moral tragedy, saying it is his duty to protect Jerusalem from religious and political repression.
In his address to the 74th session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly earlier this week, the king highlighted the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the occupation of Palestinian territory which perpetuates it.
No crisis has done more global damage than the core conflict in my region, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
“Neither side has achieved the durable peace that a secure future depends on, and regional and world stability has continued to pay the price.”
Abdullah also criticised the conflict’s contradiction to shared religious values, satiating that “it is a terrible irony that the land holy to three faiths, faiths which share the great commandment to love one’s neighbour, should ever be a place of conflict… Segregation, forced displacement, violence, and mistrust do not belong in this Holy Land.”
“It is a global moral tragedy that the occupation continues,” he insisted, but emphasised that “nothing can take away the international rights of the Palestinian people to equality, justice and self-determination.”
A significant part of the solution, Abdullah said, “begins with respect for the holy sites and rejecting all attempts to alter the legal status of East Jerusalem and the authentic historic character of the Holy City, Jerusalem. What lessons do we teach young people, when armed personnel enter Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif, even as Muslim worshippers gather to pray?”
“All of us have a stake and a moral obligation to uphold religious freedom and human rights. So let us safeguard the Holy City for all humanity, as a unifying city of peace.”
The “only genuine solution” to the conflict, he continued, is the two-state solution, as the alternative would be “one state, segregated, with unequal laws, dependent on force, betraying the deepest values of the good people on both sides” which would perpetuate “enduring conflict, not a path to stability, security and peace.”