By Tien Phan
United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres stated Monday, February 5 that the effort to have both Israel and Palestine as sovereign states may not happen. In his own words, consensus on the creation of recognized Palestinian and Israeli states “could be eroding”, and could potentially make the situation even worse, according to Voice of America.
Tension between the two states has existed since the end of World War Ⅱ. The U.N. established the country of Israel in 1948, on land containing many sites of religious importance to the Jewish faith, as reparations for the Hebrew people after the holocaust. In the process, Palestinians were driven out of their homeland, and experienced persecution. The two sides did not and still do not recognize each other. During the 6 Day War, Israel was able to occupy the Gaza strip and the area of West Bank. Since the involvement of Hamas in 2005, tensions have risen again, according to BBC.
Aljazeera America reports that one notable action that could have potentially reached a peaceful agreement is the Oslo Accords, which was formally agreed on and signed in 1995. This is said to establish a temporary authority in the Gaza and West Bank area and move Israeli military out of those region. The purpose is to further strengthen mutual relationship between the two sides.
However, since gaining control of the region, Israel has been expanding the territory. Specifically, it has been starting more settlement in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. President Trump announcing the U.S. embassy will move to Jerusalem, thus officially recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s new capital, has brought more tension to the region.
Aljazeera also reports that in January, The Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) Central Council is pushing toward no longer acknowledging Israel as a sovereign state. They want their neighbor to acknowledge the 1967 border of Palestine, before the Six-Day War, with East Jerusalem as the capital. U.N. Secretary General Guterres commented that not only is such an act is bullying, but it is also “illegal [according to] U.N. resolutions and international laws,” according to Voice of America. The international community, especially Slovenia and Japan, is pushing toward a plan within their states to acknowledge the sovereignty of Palestine as tensions rise. Karl Erjavec, Slovenia Foreign Minister, states, “By recognizing Palestine, [Slovenia] would strengthen Palestine’s negotiation in the Middle East peace process. We have an independent foreign policy, we do not need any other state to cover our back,” reports the Middle East Monitor and the National.