Kampala – The right of the Palestinian people to build their own state “must be recognised by all”, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the Non-Aligned Movement summit in Uganda on Saturday.
“The refusal to accept a two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians, and the denial of the right to statehood for the Palestinian people, are unacceptable,” the UN leader insisted in the Ugandan capital Kampala.
Such a stance “would indefinitely prolong a conflict that has become a major threat to global peace and security; exacerbate polarisation; and embolden extremists everywhere,” Guterres warned.
“The right of the Palestinian people to build their own state must be recognised by all.”
The ongoing bloodshed in the Palestinian Gaza territory was prompted by the October 7 attack on Israel by Hamas fighters.
That attack resulted in the deaths of about 1,140 people, most of them Israeli civilians, according to an AFP tally based on official Israeli figures.
Israel’s relentless bombardment and ground offensive since then have killed at least 24,927 people in Gaza, mostly women and children, according to the Hamas government’s health ministry.
In its final summit communique, the Non-Aligned Movement on Saturday “strongly condemned the illegal Israeli military aggression against the Gaza Strip”, and called for “a lasting humanitarian ceasefire”.
The assembled leaders in Kampala also called for “the independence and sovereignty of the State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital, in order to achieve a two-state solution”.
The Non-Aligned Movement is a forum of 120 countries that aren’t formally aligned to any major power bloc. Its members include India, Iran, Iraq and South Africa.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has deplored the “inhuman living conditions” in the small coastal territory of 2.4 million inhabitants, many of whom have been displaced by the Israeli action.
On Monday, Guterres appealed for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza.
The United States, Israel’s main ally and key supporter in its war against Hamas, has also recently reiterated its support for the creation of a Palestinian state.
In recent days, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reaffirmed his opposition to the creation of a viable Palestinian state, drawing criticism from his American ally.
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