United Nations Human Rights Rapporteur, Professor Richard Falk, stated that Israel’s ongoing settlement activities in the occupied West Bank and in occupied East Jerusalem makes the ultimate goal of an independent Palestinian state seem like a mirage. He said that these violations are making peace and an independent state become closer to a “politically impossible” solution.
Prof. Falk added that Israel’s escalating expansion of settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, the ongoing demolition of Arab homes and the expulsion of local Palestinians from Jerusalem, are making any peace deal based on a two-state solution impossible to achieve.
Speaking to the General Assembly, Falk said that a two-state solution ‘seems increasingly problematic because it would require a substantial reversal of the settlement process.’
He held Israel and the United Nations responsible for the declining situation of Human Rights in the occupied territories, and slammed the UN for failing to respond to complaints regarding Israel’s refusal to cooperate with him and to allow him to visit the occupied territories.
Responding to last month’s statements of Israel’s Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, in which he told the UN that a solution to the conflict could take decades, Falk said that this represents a current line of negotiations as Israel wants an international recognition for annexing more Palestinian lands.
He also said that the United States, although initially slammed settlement activities, is currently rephrasing its stances by only stating that “settlements contradict with the efforts to create the momentum for peace”.
Falk also said that Israel’s unlawful settlements, the demolition of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem, and the revocation of Palestinian residence rights in the occupied city, makes the goal of a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem “increasingly difficult to envisage”.
He further stated that the cost of Israel’s ongoing occupation to the Palestinian territories in leading to an enormous human cost “in terms of the daily existence of every Palestinian trapped in this reality”, the Jerusalem Post reported.
As for the situation in Gaza, Falk said that Israel made a serious mistake by not dealing with Hamas as an effective political factor, and that by regarding it as a terrorist group, “there will be no progress in peace talks”.
He also slammed Israel’s ongoing siege on the Gaza Strip and regarded it as illegal, and slammed Israel’s deadly attack on the Freedom Flotilla.