Quartet believes two-state solution is best route to peace
On September 30, a quartet of international representatives met in New York to discuss the unsolved issues in Israel and Palestine, specifically Jerusalem, which has been subjected to an escalation of violence against both Palestinians and Israelis in recent weeks.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, United States Secretary of State John Kerry and European Union High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy Federica Mogherini made up the quartet.
Mogherini agreed to consult about the steps toward peace in the form of the two state solution with representatives from several notable Arab governments not including the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank or Hamas in the Gaza strip, such as Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
The press release sent out by the state department was replete with reiterated appeals to a two-state settlement, which has been on the agenda of the international community for a few decades.
The Quartet also “noted with deep concern” the escalation of violence in and around Jerusalem. This unrest was cited as the motivation behind the temporary ban of Palestinians entering the Old City of Jerusalem.
The press release also mentions some of the most frequent violations of Palestinian rights, including violence against civilians by the Israeli Defense Forces and Israeli police, the steady increase in illegal settlement activities in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem and the now standard demolition of Palestinian homes, either in the pursuit of further settlement activity, or as a form of collective punishment.
There was also mention of an appeal to donors that were present at the Cairo Gaza Reconstruction Conference in October of 2014 to expedite their aid. As of July, only 28 percent of the promised aid had been paid from the $3.5 billion pledged towards the reconstruction of Gaza. Conditions in Gaza continue to deteriorate in the aftermath of the devastating Operation: Protective Edge inflicted on the strip in 2014 Without an end to the current trends it was predicted by a United Nations agency that the Gaza strip would be uninhabitable by 2020.
“The Quartet stands ready to support initiatives to advance these objectives in order to achieve a comprehensive two-State solution. The Quartet stressed the importance of continued support from key stakeholders in the region, and noted the significance and importance of the Arab Peace Initiative with its vision for a comprehensive settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict and the opportunity for building a regional security framework. It also expressed appreciation for the support of many key partners from the international community and called on all to provide concrete measures to advance the prospects for a two-State solution,” the statement read.
“The Quartet Envoys will engage directly with the parties in order to explore concrete actions both sides can take to demonstrate their genuine commitment to pursuing a two-State solution, including encouraging efforts to agree on significant steps, consistent with prior agreements, that benefit Israelis and Palestinians. The Envoys will also build on their outreach to regional States and international partners to examine how they may contribute to a comprehensive resolution of the conflict and will report back to the Quartet Principals.”