Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message on the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, observed on 29 November:
On this International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory — including East Jerusalem — continues to pose a significant challenge to international peace and security. Persistent violations of the rights of Palestinians along with the expansion of settlements risk eroding the prospect of a two-State solution.
As the international community strives to re-start Israeli–Palestinian dialogue, I am encouraged by recent engagements between senior Israeli and Palestinian officials. However, containing the situation is not sufficient. The overall goal remains two States living side by side in peace and security, fulfilling the legitimate national aspirations of both peoples, with borders based on the 1967 lines and Jerusalem as the capital of both States.
I call on the parties to avoid unilateral steps that would undermine the chances for a peaceful resolution of the conflict based on international law and relevant United Nations resolutions. I further call on the parties to engage constructively to end the closure of Gaza and improve the living conditions of all Palestinians under occupation.
I commend the generous donors who support the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and call for Member States to provide timely and predictable funding to allow the Agency to conduct its vital work.
Together, let us reaffirm our unwavering commitment to the Palestinian people in their quest to achieve their inalienable rights and build a future of peace, justice, security and dignity for both Palestinians and Israelis.