UN head urges two-state solution as Netanyahu rejects option again

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks during a session at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2024 in Davos. Hannes P. Albert/dpa
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks during a session at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2024 in Davos. Hannes P. Albert/dpa
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UN Secretary General António Guterres reiterated his call for a two-state solution as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu again rejected the notion of a sovereign Palestinian state.

"The right of the Palestinian people to build their own state must be recognized by all," Guterres said on Saturday in Kampala at a meeting of non-aligned states - nations that remained neutral during the Cold War.

"The refusal to accept the two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians, and the denial of the right to statehood for the Palestinian people, are unacceptable."

Guterres went on to say that the denial of a two-state solution was prolonging a conflict that had become a global threat to peace and security, contributing to polarization and strengthening extremism everywhere.

He also renewed calls for an immediate ceasefire in the battle between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Netanyahu continues to reject the notion of an independent Palestinian state once the Gaza conflict is over.

"I will not compromise on full Israeli security control over the entire area west of Jordan - and this is contrary to a Palestinian state," he said on Saturday, reiterating his stance that any solution in the foreseeable future must include Israel's military control over the entire West Bank.

The United States, an important Israel ally, has also been pushing for a two-state solution.