The international community is determined not to look the other way regarding the issue of Palestine and to bring about the two-state solution, which aims for Israel and Palestine to live next to each other in peace based on 1967's borders.
"There is no Plan B to the two-state solution," stated Dr. Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations, in a U.N. event named "Peace in the Middle East" organized yesterday in Ankara.
He added that their main intention is to create conditions that would reverse the situation of humanitarian tragedy that is occurring in especially Gaza and the West Bank.
International law regards the West Bank — including East Jerusalem — as "occupied territory" and sees it as a violation and those that support the act. Israel occupied East Jerusalem in 1967. It unilaterally annexed the entire city in 1980, claiming it as its "eternal and undivided" capital in a move never recognized by the international community. Not separate from what happens in the West Bank, the Gaza strip is similarly in poor conditions with people struggling to survive, deprived of drinking water and electricity and high unemployment rates.
"In the storm of events – the sanctions on Gaza, the U.S. cutting its aid etc. – people think there is no solution on the horizon and losing hope," said Tania Harry, Executive Director of Gisha – an Israeli human rights organization – while also pointing out that the given aid is not enough and that people strive for freedom in an environment where their movement and access is restricted.
"If this situation lasts any longer it will not be an occupation but something else, it would be an annexation, colonization, making it part of itself since an occupation is temporary," Mansour stated. He continued his words by saying that the U.S. is no help either with its open support for Israel and that even though the U.S. claims to have a plan on the matter, what it did was only negative.
The Trump administration moved the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which is internationally recognized as under Israeli occupation. Moreover, the "occupied" label was omitted by U.S. Finally, two months ago Trump said the Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights had to be recognized.
Since 2007, the Gaza Strip has been under a crippling Israeli and Egyptian blockade that has gutted its economy and deprived its roughly 2 million inhabitants of many vital commodities, including food, fuel and medicine. In the long-embargoed enclave, the humanitarian situation has grown worse by the day.
The U.N. Relief and Works Agency Director (UNRWA) Peter Mulrean said that the U.S. decision on cutting funding was "regretful" and that the UNRWA is a common success of the international community contributing to the stability in the region. "It is never humanitarian actors that prolong a crisis, but rather political ones," he said. Based on a report from the World Bank, unemployment in Gaza is now over 50% and over 70% among Gaza's youth. The poverty rate in the Gaza Strip has reached 80% during the more than decade-long Israeli blockade, according to the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions, which makes the people living there dependent on foreign aid.
Korkut Güngen, Director General of Multilateral Political Affairs of the Foreign Affairs Ministry also pointed out that "the humanitarian tragedy is not limited to Gaza and the West Bank, but also concerns Palestinian refugees in Jordan, Syria and Lebanon that are facing oppression and are discriminated." He said that Turkey will continue to defend the rights of the Palestinians, raise awareness on the issue and support U.N. agencies including UNRWA which is "a precious mechanism that needs to be preserved."