NEW YORK (JTA) — United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres criticized Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and called for the establishment of a Palestinian state in a statement marking the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Six-Day War.
The statement, issued Monday, said the war “resulted in Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza and the Syrian Golan and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians and Syrians.”
Guterres criticized Israel’s military control of Palestinian areas, saying it endangers both Israelis and Palestinians. He called for the establishment of a Palestinian state through “direct negotiations to resolve all final status issues on the basis of relevant UN resolutions, agreements and international law.”
“This occupation has imposed a heavy humanitarian and development burden on the Palestinian people,” the statement said. “Its perpetuation is sending an unmistakable message to generations of Palestinians that their dream of statehood is destined to remain just that, a dream.”
The Anti-Defamation League criticized Guterres’ statement, saying that it focuses on the war’s impact while omitting context on the Israeli-Arab conflict and why the war broke out.