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UN chief on Israel-Palestine issue: ‘Time is running short’

The head of the UN warned Tuesday that “time is running short” concerning the Israel-Palestine issue, saying his organization is committed to supporting Palestinians and Israelis to resolve the conflict.

“We cannot lose sight of the long-sought goal of ending the occupation and realizing a two-state solution,” Antonio Guterres said at a meeting of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.

Guterres said the situation in Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, continues to pose a “significant challenge” to international peace and security.

“The promise of the independence of the Palestinian state remains unfulfilled. Political, economic and security conditions across the Occupied Palestinian Territory are deteriorating as Palestinians experience high levels of dispossession, violence and insecurity,” said Guterres.

He urged all parties to take concrete steps, which he said will enable a return to the path of meaningful negotiations and a just and lasting peace.

The solution should focus on efforts to end the occupation in line with UN resolutions, international law and agreements.

“The goal remains two states – Israel and an independent, democratic, contiguous, viable and sovereign Palestinian State – living side by side in peace within secure and recognized borders, on the basis of the pre-1967 lines, with Jerusalem as the shared capital of both states.

“There is no plan B,” he added.