Israel can't 'have veto' on Palestinian state, says top EU diplomat

Netanyahu has drawn condemnation from the UN and defied key backer, the US, by rejecting calls for a two-state solution

By AFP

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Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

Published: Tue 23 Jan 2024, 6:21 PM

EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell on Tuesday said that Israel cannot be allowed to unilaterally block the creation of a Palestinian state after the war in Gaza.

"One thing is clear — Israel cannot have the veto right to the self-determination of the Palestinian people," Borrell told a Brussels press conference with his Egyptian counterpart.

"The United Nations recognises and has recognised many times the self-determination right of the Palestinian people. Nobody can veto it."

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The comments come after Borrell on Monday chaired talks between the EU's 27 foreign ministers and the top diplomats from Israel, the Palestinian Authority and key Arab states.

Borrell has floated a roadmap involving an international conference on a two-state solution and has said peace needs to be "imposed" on Israel.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said there is "an international consensus on the necessity of resolving the conflict on the basis of a two state solution".

"It is time to implement it and the international community has the means, has the resources, has the mechanisms to do so," he said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has drawn condemnation from the United Nations and defied key backer the United States by rejecting calls for a Palestinian state.

Israel insists it is focused on its military operation in Gaza aimed at destroying Hamas and freeing hostages captured in the October 7 attack.

The Gaza war broke out with Hamas's unprecedented October 7 attacks, which resulted in the deaths of about 1,140 people in Israel, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli official figures.

Israel's brutal bombardment has killed at least 25,490 people in Gaza, mostly women and children.

The Hamas attack also saw about 250 hostages seized, and Israel says around 132 remain in Gaza. That number includes at least 28 dead hostages, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli figures.

Shoukry warned that displacement of Gaza's population from the territory "will occur" if adequate humanitarian assistance is not allowed in.

"Making the conditions in Gaza unliveable in itself will induce displacements," he warned.

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