Sunday, May 19, 2024

Creation of Palestinian state ‘has got harder’ due to Israeli settlements in West Bank: UK

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron has addressed key issues concerning the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, emphasizing the impact of Israel's settlements on the viability of a Palestinian state.

At a session of House of Lords’ International Relations and Defense Committee, Cameron said the illegal settlements constructed by Israel in the West Bank were exacerbating the challenges in establishing a Palestinian state.

“It was getting harder because of the settlement-building by Israel in the West Bank, so technically creating the Palestinian state has got harder and we have to think about that,” he added, when asked to comment on the committee’s seven-year-old report that said the two-state solution could become an “impossibility” and “considered no longer viable by either side.”

” … It’s got harder, but it’s not impossible … recognition is an important part of helping to give the Palestinians a perspective towards statehood, but it doesn’t create a state just by everybody recognizing it. You’ve got to set out the things that actually create a state: a government, its ability to govern … .”

“There is no long-term peace and security instability in the Middle East without a solution to the Palestinian question,” Cameron said.

“So if you look at, for instance, what the Saudis have tried to do with this normalization deal with Israel, that’s obviously a huge step for Saudi Arabia, a big step for Israel, but part of it would be the creation of a Palestinian state and the horizon towards that basis,” he added.

On the situation in Gaza, where Israel has killed more than 34,500 Palestinians since the Oct. 7, 2023 Hamas incursion, Cameron expressed deep concern and sadness over the loss of lives.

“Obviously the whole situation in Gaza is deeply concerning and the loss of life deeply regrettable,” he stated.

Regarding the resumption of funding to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, Cameron stressed the UK awaits the results of ongoing investigations before making any decision.

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