Tensions in the West Bank, obstacle to a two-state solution, according to Borrel​

The head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell estimated on Sunday that tensions in the West Bank, where attacks against Palestinians have increased, constitute “the real obstacle” to a two-state solution between Israelis and Palestinians.

“I am surprised because everyone is talking about ending the war in Gaza, but no one has talked much about the West Bank, which is the real obstacle to the two-state solution,” the official said at the podium. of the Munich Security Conference.

“The West Bank is in turmoil, the level of violence against the Palestinians has been increasing since October 7, it was already very high before that,” he recalled.

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Western countries, such as the United States, the United Kingdom and France, have imposed sanctions against certain Israelis deemed “extremist”, including the freezing of their assets.

Last year, 26 illegal outposts, unrecognized by Israel, appeared in the West Bank, a record, according to the NGO “Peace Now”. Of the 26, about ten were established after the war began on October 7, when Hamas sent 3,000 armed terrorists into Israel on October 7 to carry out a brutal attack in which they killed nearly of 1,200 people. The terrorists also took 253 people hostage, mostly civilians, and took them to Gaza. Israel responded by launching a military campaign aimed at destroying Hamas, removing it from power in Gaza and freeing the hostages.

The massacre sparked an ongoing conflict in Gaza, where 28,985 people have died under massive Israeli bombardment, according to the Hamas health ministry. The figures released by the terrorist group are unverifiable, and they reportedly include its own terrorists and gunmen killed in Israel and Gaza, and civilians killed by the hundreds of rockets fired by the terrorist groups that fall inside the Strip. from Gaza. The Israeli military claims to have killed more than 10,000 members of the terrorist group in Gaza, in addition to a thousand terrorists inside Israel on October 7.

“The question is whether there is a political space where we can consider supporting the two-state solution. I think so, but for that we need to be more united,” Mr. Borrell continued.

“We have discussed a lot with the Arabs and we are waiting for a proposal from them that we Europeans could support,” he added.

These words echo those of the Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority. “Everyone agrees on the two states. We have been talking about two states for 33 years. We must move from the stage of discussion to that of the implementation of two states,” argued Mohammed Shtayyeh on Sunday in Munich.

In 2023, at least 10 Palestinians have been killed and dozens of homes have been burned in the West Bank during attacks on settler residents, the human rights group Yesh Din said in January.

Violence intensified after the October 7 massacre by the Hamas terrorist group in southern Israel, in which some 1,200 people were massacred and 253 were taken hostage, but violence was already on the rise before then, according to watchdogs.

In October, the Shin Bet domestic security agency warned the government that increased attacks on settler residents could provoke an eruption of violence by Palestinians.

The West Bank has been under Israeli military control since the Six-Day War in 1967, while the Palestinian Authority (PA) has controlled parts of the Territory since 1994.

About 490,000 settlers live among some 3 million Palestinians in the West Bank in outposts that are widely considered illegal under international law.

This article is originally published on fr.timesofisrael.com

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