The Israeli settlement policy is among key stumbling blocks for revival of the peace process between Israel and Palestine, which is seeking diplomatic recognition for its independence on the territories of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, which are partially occupied by Israel, and the Gaza Strip.
Guterres made no mention of their own choices in the matter, the numerous rejections of peace proposals rejected by the Palestinian Authority leadership and the refusal by those living in camps who chose not to move out and make a better life for themselves elsewhere, including in the PA.
Some 6,500 Palestinians are now being held in Israeli jails, many of whom were convicted of attacks or planning attacks against Israelis. It has fueled recurring cycles of violence and retribution.
Ending the occupation that began in 1967 and achieving a negotiated two-state outcome is the only way to lay the foundations for enduring peace that meets Israeli security needs and Palestinian aspirations for statehood and sovereignty, he stressed.
"Now is not the time to give up on this goal", he said. He said that an end to the occupation and reaching a two-state agreement in direct negotiations "on the basis of relevant United Nations resolutions, agreements and worldwide law" could end the 50 year old situation and described it as "the only way to lay the foundations for enduring peace" that would answer the desires of the two parties.
"The establishment of an independent Palestinian state with its capital in east Jerusalem is the real guarantee for security and stability in the region", it said.
Fifty years into the perversion that the occupation is, we at APN are as determined as we've ever been to not let the extremists win, to bolster and embolden the constituency for peace - both among Israelis and among their brethren in the U.S. - and to help bring about a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the only solution that would ensure Israel's future as a state that is both Jewish and a democracy.
He recalled that in 1947, the world recognized the two-state solution and called for the emergence of “independent Arab and Jewish states” on the basis of UN General Assembly resolution 181.
Israel's swift surprise victory in the 1967 conflict with its Arab neighbours not only secured the young Jewish state's survival: it cemented the country's position as a regional power.