The top U.N. human rights official called on Tuesday for Israel to pull out of territories captured in the 1967 war that Palestinians now seek for a state, saying it would benefit both sides after 50 years of enmity.
In six days of war in June 1967, Israel seized the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan, the Gaza Strip from Egypt and the Golan Heights from Syria. Palestinians want a state in the West Bank and Gaza with East Jerusalem as their capital. The last round of peace talks collapsed in 2014.
In a speech opening a three-week session of the U.N. Human Rights Council, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein observed the 50th anniversary of when he “first heard the sound of war” as a boy in Amman, Jordan.
He said Palestinians were now marking “a half-century of deep suffering under an occupation imposed by military force” and marked by “systematic” violations of international law.
Israelis also deserve freedom from violence, Zeid said, adding: “Maintain the occupation and for both peoples there will only be a prolongation of immense pain.”