The secretary-general of the United Nations was roundly condemned Tuesday by both Jewish-American and Israeli leaders for a statement slamming the ongoing “occupation” of Palestinian territories.
Marking the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War, António Guterres issued a statement saying that the 1967 defensive war “resulted in Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza and the Syrian Golan and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians and Syrians” that “fueled recurring cycles of violence and retribution,” while making no mention of Israel’s right to defend itself at the time against the threat of annihilation from combined Arab armies.
“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. It is the only way to achieve the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people,” Guterres said.
“This occupation has imposed a heavy humanitarian and development burden on the Palestinian people,” he added. “Among them are generation after generation of Palestinians who have been compelled to grow up and live in ever more crowded refugee camps, many in abject poverty, and with little or no prospect of a better life for their children.”
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