We have been repeating “two-states solution” for years without doing what is needed to implement - EU's Borrel

Josep Borrel

© APA | Josep Borrel

# 17 November 2023 22:30 (UTC +04:00)

"The war against Hamas in Gaza is the outcome of a collective political and moral failure of the international community. A great political and moral failure for which the Israeli and the Palestinian people are paying a high price," High Representative/Vice-President of EU Josep Borrel said after his meeting with Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority Mohammad Shtayyeh, APA reports.

Only a political solution can end this untenable cycle of violence. Only a political solution can stop it. That is why I am on this tour, starting with Israel [and] followed by Ramallah to visit you, the Palestinian Authority, in order to work with our partners on a way forward and look at what should [be] done for this war to end and how to create a better future based on peace.

The first “yes” is the return of the Palestinian Authority to Gaza. I am saying “the” Palestinian Authority – you. You are already there. You never left Gaza. You have been providing public services to the population, with our support. You have the capacity to continue doing this job. Maybe you will need support from the international community, but the Palestinian Authority has to return to Gaza.

The second “yes” that we need is a stronger involvement of the Arab countries.

And the third one is the greater involvement of the European Union, in particular on the political process, in building the Palestinian state.

We have a certain experience on State building in Europe and we should engage on that in order to build the Palestinian State as a part of a two-state solution.

But we should not forget the situation in the West Bank. You know [it] better than I. I discussed also with my Israeli counterpart [Eli Cohen] yesterday, and everybody should be aware that there is an upsurge of settler terrorism since October 7. Since the beginning of the year, 421 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank. Since the first days of October - since this dramatic 7th of October it is 202. It means that since this dramatic event has started, the same number of Palestinians has been killed in the West Bank than from the beginning of the year until October. This has increased the numbers of communities being forced out of their homes.

We have urged Israeli authorities to address this issue at the highest level to prevent an eruption of violence in the West Bank.

Our support to the Palestinian Authority, as the only representative of the Palestinian people, is both political and financial. We are the biggest international donor for the Palestinian people - and we will continue being the biggest financial contribution to the Palestinian Authority’s working.

Because this war has shown us that we cannot [leave] the Palestinian issue unresolved. However tragic it is now – and it is very tragic - we must seize this momentum to invest in peace and to work towards a solution of the conflict.

The two-state solution is the only viable path to peace. Time has come to define the concrete steps to take in order to implement it. Because we have been repeating for years – 30 years since the Oslo agreements – “two-states solution”, without doing what is needed to implement that in practice," said Borrel.