The UAE sees the only solution to the deteriorating situation in the occupied Palestinian Territories and Gaza Strip to be a two-state solution with East Jerusalem as the capital of an independent Palestine.
The assertion came on Wednesday at the UN Security Council quarterly open debate on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question.
The UAE said the international community must help to maintain the recent ceasefire between Israel and militant groups in Gaza two months after an 11-day conflict. They said that efforts must be taken to prevent another violent outbreak and relaunch credible peace talks.
Such talks have stalled for more than a decade and there has been little movement in finding a solution to the decades-long conflict.
Before the debate, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations said he welcomed attempts for peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians and hopes they will happen soon.
“We are in favour of dialogue and each side can bring to the table every issue and every disagreement,” Ambassador Gilad Erdan said. “The only way to promote peace is by direct dialogue, direct negotiations without any preconditions.”
The statement came days after the UN Human Rights Council appointed former head, Navi Pillay, to lead a three-person inquiry into systemic abuses in Israel and the occupied territories.
Ms Pillay will investigate abuses and their “root causes” in the decades-long conflict.
A commission of inquiry is the highest-level investigation that can be ordered by the council.
The decision to investigate was made during a special session of the council on May 27 to discuss the surge in violence between Israelis and Palestinians, including the latest war in Gaza.
The UAE also said that there must be a halt to all illegal practices in the Occupied Palestinian Territories that threaten the two-state solution and breach international law, including building and expanding settlements, confiscating and demolishing Palestinian property and forcibly displacing the population.
The UAE emphasised the importance of preserving the legal status of East Jerusalem and ensuring Palestinians can practise their religious traditions. It also called for Israel to respect the historic role of Jordan as the custodian of the holy sites in Jerusalem.
The UAE drew attention to the “difficult humanitarian, political, and economic challenges facing the Palestinian people, especially in light of the Covid-19 pandemic and the obstruction of the political process” state news agency Wam reported.
The statement drew attention to the UAE’s donation of $840 million, between 2013 and 2020, to help Palestinian development and key services. This was, it said, in addition to $2.6 million in food aid sent to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip as well as the more than 30 ambulances and medical assistance provided since the start of the pandemic.
“The UAE reaffirmed its commitment to continuing working with regional and international partners to end the cycle of conflict in the Middle East based on its belief that the people of the region deserve to enjoy a decent life in stable countries and secure societies, where tolerance and prosperity prevail, and in which people can realise their hopes and aspirations,” the statement said.