Support for a possible two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is "fading away" as the two sides appear further apart from that goal than ever, a UN representative said Monday.
In a briefing to the UN Security Council, Nickolay Mladenov said the two-state solution continued to be under threat, including from "settlement construction, security incidents, occupation-related violence, and lack of Palestinian unity".
The UN-proposed two state model, which goes back to as early as 1974, is the declared goal of the both parties as well as many international politicians and diplomats.
The prospects for the solution, however, appears moribund, as many UN officials including Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said the possibility for the creation of an independent Palestinian state within pre-1967 borders alongside Israel may have already died.
Mladenov, who is the UN Middle East envoy, said Israel must stop its unilateral activities in the occupied West Bank including settlement construction, demolitions and evictions.
"I am concerned by reports about the imminent approval of new residential units in the occupied West Bank. Such a decision will inevitably damage the prospects for peace and increase the risk for political escalation," he said.
International law views East Jerusalem and the West Bank as occupied territories and deems any construction of Israeli settlements on the land to be illegal.
Mladenov said Gaza’s painstaking emergence from last summer’s conflict is "undermining belief among the population that genuine progress can be achieved".
The 51-day offensive last July and August killed more than 2,100 Gazans, mostly civilians.
The UN official also called on all Palestinian groups to avoid in-fighting and find common ground, as "Palestinian people rightly expect their leaders to act to advance unity and empower their government".
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