"The global community's non-recognition of the Israel's occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, proves that the Palestinian cause is firm and that the Palestinian people will not be defeated".
The figures, published on Sunday in research from the Israel Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University, stand in stark contrast to the thoughts of Arab Israelis, 90 percent of whom consider it an occupation. It has fueled recurring cycles of violence and retribution.
Guterres, who has previously slammed critics of Israel as anti-Semites and reaffirmed Jerusalem's Jewish roots, shifted gears by saying the Israeli "occupation" sends "an unmistakable message to generations of Palestinians that their dream of statehood is destined to remain just that, a dream; and to Israelis that their desire for peace, security and regional recognition remains unattainable".
On this fiftieth year of the occupation, we at Americans for Peace Now are committing to redouble our efforts to demonstrate that the conflict absolutely can be resolved, that it must be resolved, and that reaching and implementing a negotiated political agreement to settle the conflict is a principal responsibility of Israeli and Palestinian leaders, and of worldwide stakeholders, led by the United States.
"That is the foundation for peace and refusal is what prevents achieving it", he added.
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"Now is not the time to give up on this goal", he said.
Nearly two thirds of Jewish Israelis felt that Israel's control of the West Bank contributed to the state's security, and nearly half felt Israel should still annex the territory claimed by Palestinians as their state.
He warned that continued settlement construction and expansion, violence and incitement and the illicit arms build-up and militant activity in Gaza risk creating a one-state reality that is incompatible with realizing the legitimate national and historic aspirations of both peoples. Israel hopes that by further dividing the Arabs, it can drive the minimum Palestinian demands-a sovereign, independent Palestinian state along the 1967 lines-even lower.
Earlier this week, in comments marking the Six-Day War's anniversary, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres conveyed concern regarding Israel's "occupation" in the disputed territories.
"Almost seven decades later, the world still awaits the birth of an independent Palestinian state".
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