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Borrell: West Bank tensions, obstacle to two-state solution

2024-02-18 16:00:00, Kosova & Bota CNA

Borrell: West Bank tensions, obstacle to two-state solution

The head of diplomacy of the European Union, Josep Borrell, said that the situation in the West Bank occupied by Israel constitutes a major obstacle to finding a solution for long-term peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

"The West Bank is a real obstacle to the two-state solution," Borrell said on February 18 during the Munich Security Conference.

"The West Bank is at a boiling point ... we could be on the verge of a bigger explosion," he said.

About 490,000 Israelis live in the West Bank, which Israel occupied in 1967, in dozens of settlements that are considered illegal under international law.

The settlers live together with nearly 3 million Palestinians in this territory.

Palestinians see the construction of Israeli settlements as a war crime and a major obstacle to peace.

Since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas - the Palestinian group declared a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union - on October 7 in Gaza, the West Bank has recorded an increasing number of clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinians.

Borrell said that the EU should "support the Arab initiative" for the creation of a Palestinian state, which would include both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Borrell's statements come after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected a plan for international recognition of such a state, after The Washington Post reported that such an initiative is underway.

The newspaper said the administration of US President Joe Biden and a small group of Arab states are working on a comprehensive plan for long-term peace between Israel and the Palestinians. According to The Washington Post, the plan also includes a timeline for the establishment of a Palestinian state./ Rel

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