King Abdullah: Status quo in Israeli-Palestinian conflict unsustainable
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King Abdullah: Status quo in Israeli-Palestinian conflict unsustainable

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The status quo in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is unsustainable, Jordan’s King Abdullah told the United Nations General Assembly as he called for a two-state resolution to the conflict.
“How many more children will die, before the world wake up?” King Abdullah said in a pre-recored message that was played at the high-level opening session of the 76th UNGA that is taking place this week in New York.

On Tuesday, US President Joe Biden spoke to the UNGA of his support for a two-state resolution to the conflict, but said that “we’re a long way from that goal at the moment.”

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who is expected to address the UNGA next week, has been blunt that he does not support Palestinian statehood and has no intention to enter into negotiations for such a resolution.

Jordan, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority have pushed back at the idea of putting the resolution to the conflict on the back burner, warning that this would be a mistake.

“The bitter war on Gaza this past year was a reminder that the current situation is simply unsustainable,” King Abdullah said.

“Genuine security for either side – indeed, for the whole world – can only be achieved through the two-step solution, a solution that leads to the establishment of an independent, sovereign and viable Palestinian state on the basis of the June 1967 lines, with east Jerusalem as its capital, living side-by-side with Israel in peace and security,” King Abdullah said.

He referenced his country’s special connection as the custodian of the city’s holy Islamic and Christian sites.

Jordan, along with the PA has been concerned that Israeli wants to change the status quo understanding with regard to those sites, particularly with respect to the Temple Mount, known to Muslims as al-Harram al-Sharrif.

An arrangement put in place after the 1967 Six Day War has allowed for Muslims only to worship at the site, which is the holiest one in Judaism. The Israeli Right has increasingly pushed back at that arrangement and informal Jewish prayer does occur at the Temple Mount.

King Abdullah at the UNGA said that the time had come for Jerusalem to unite rather than divide the three monotheistic religions.

“I believe Jerusalem’s holiness to Muslims, Christians and Jews can and must bring us together. With international help, the Holy City can be, not a cause of division, but a symbol of unity for all to see,” he said.

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