The Secretary-General deeply regrets the adoption of the so called “Regularisation bill” on 6 February by the Knesset. This bill is in contravention of international law and will have far reaching legal consequences for Israel. It reportedly provides immunity to settlements and outposts in the occupied West Bank that were built on privately-owned Palestinian land.
The Secretary-General insists on the need to avoid any actions that would derail the two-state solution. All core issues should be resolved between the parties through direct negotiations on the basis of relevant Security Council resolutions and mutual agreements. The United Nations stands ready to support this process.
New York, 7 February 2017
Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General
I am deeply saddened by the passing of Mr. Shimon Peres, the former President of the State of Israel. I offer condolences to his family and friends, and to the people of Israel.
Shimon Peres played a central role in Israel’s founding, and served his country throughout his life, not only as President but also Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, Defence Minister and in other key roles. He worked tirelessly for a two-state solution that would enable Israel to live securely and harmoniously with the Palestinians and the wider region, a commitment duly recognized when he shared the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize with Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat. He was also a good partner of the United Nations, eager to see Israel contribute to the work of the international community.
I met Mr. Peres on many occasions, and always benefitted from his views. Even in the most difficult hours, he remained an optimist about the prospects for reconciliation and peace.
As he once said at the United Nations, “The time has come to comprehend that the real triumph is in the harvest of peace, not in the seeds of another war. When we replace war maps with peace maps, we will discover the differences were minimal. The wars were appalling. We shall see that the promised land could have become the land of promise a long time ago.”
May his spirit of determination guide us as we work to ensure peace, security and dignity for Israelis, Palestinians and all the peoples of the region.
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