UN leader tells Palestinian solidarity event that ‘occupation must end’
Luke Tress is an editor and a reporter in New York for The Times of Israel.
The President of the UN General Assembly Csaba Kőrösi calls for increased support for UNRWA and for diplomatic pressure against Israel at an event marking solidarity with Palestinians.
“I ask you to walk a mile in the shoes of Palestinians,” Kőrösi says at the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People event at the UN headquarters in New York.
“Hope and prosperity cannot come from a zero-sum game,” he says, urging UN countries to “use the leverage of your governments” to encourage dialogue between Israel and the Palestinians.
He nods to the “legitimate aspirations of all sides” in his speech, delivered alongside the Palestinian UN envoy Riyad Mansour.
The UN Chef de Cabinet Earle Courtenay Rattray, speaking on behalf of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, says the UN head is “deeply saddened by the growing number of Palestinians who have lost their lives.”
He describes the “drivers of the conflict” as settlements, home demolitions, Gaza closures and hopelessness.
“The UN position is clear — peace must advance, the occupation must end,” he says on behalf of Guterres.
Mansour, speaking on behalf of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, says the event marks “another year of killing, siege, arrests, forced displacement, and home demolitions.”
“Another year of settlements and dismemberment of our homeland through the annexation wall, land confiscation and military checkpoints. Another year that witnessed more violence and incitement against our people and their Christian and Islamic holy sites,” Mansour says.
He says journalist Shireen Abu Akleh “was assassinated by the Israeli occupying forces in cold blood” and calls on the international community to pressure Israel.
“We cannot expect the Israeli occupier who supports colonization and settler terrorism,” Mansour says, “to wake up one day and choose justice and peace.
The international community must mobilize and intensify its efforts to put pressure on Israel to end its occupation and stop its crimes.
”He pledges that the Palestinians will uphold human rights, including the “freedom of expression and empowerment of women,” and carry out the democratic process by holding national elections and forming a unity government.