UN Undersecretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo (C) speaks at a high-level special meeting on the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Nakba at the UN headquarters in New York, on May 15, 2023. DiCarlo on Monday regretted the stalemate between Israelis and Palestinians. (Mark Garten/UN Photo/Handout via Xinhua)
UNITED NATIONS, May 15 (Xinhua) -- UN Undersecretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo on Monday regretted the stalemate between Israelis and Palestinians.
Efforts to find a peaceful and lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have been central to the work of the United Nations since its earliest days, DiCarlo told a high-level special meeting on the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Nakba, also known as the Palestinian Catastrophe.
Monday's commemorative event, organized by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, was in line with a UN General Assembly resolution adopted on Nov. 30, 2022.
"On this day of commemoration, I address you with deep concern, as we see the prospects for restarting a political process toward a two-state solution based on UN resolutions, international law, and previous agreements continue to diminish," said DiCarlo.
Across the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, the rapid expansion of settlements -- illegal under international law -- is dramatically altering the land envisioned for a future Palestinian state, she noted.
Violence, including settler-related violence, remains pervasive while evictions, demolitions and seizures of Palestinian-owned property continue unabated. Such actions undermine the prospects for the establishment of a viable, contiguous Palestinian state, she said.
According to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, last year saw the highest number of Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank since the office started recording data on casualties in 2005. Last year also saw the highest number of Israeli civilians killed since 2015, she said.
This year is on track to match, or even surpass, that sobering record. Over the past weeks, incidents of violence taking place inside or near al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem were deeply concerning. In Gaza, debilitating closures and the militant build-up continue to exacerbate the humanitarian situation. Recurrent violent escalations between Israel and armed factions, including the launching of indiscriminate rockets toward Israel, continue to take a staggering toll on civilians. Only last week, in yet another dangerous escalation in Gaza, Israeli airstrikes led to the loss of 33 Palestinian lives, including women and children. One Israeli civilian, a woman, was also killed by Palestinian rocket fire, she said.
"I echo the secretary-general's words in his May 14 statement, welcoming the cease-fire and calling on all sides to observe it," said DiCarlo.
The question of Palestine is intimately linked to the history and to the UN Charter. Palestinians deserve a life of justice and dignity and the realization of their right to self-determination and independence. The UN position is clear. The occupation must end. A two-state solution that will bring lasting peace and security for Israelis and Palestinians alike must be achieved in line with international law, UN resolutions and previous agreements, she said. "We want to see an independent state of Palestine living side by side with Israel in peace and security, with Jerusalem as the capital of both states."
DiCarlo reaffirmed the world body's commitment to supporting the Palestinian people's efforts to achieve their inalienable rights and self-determination, as well as to advancing a just, comprehensive and lasting peace in the region.