The Arab League calls for UN peacekeepers in Gaza and the West Bank

The Arab League called on Thursday for the deployment of a United Nations peacekeeping force in the Gaza Strip and the Israeli-occupied West Bank. until a two-state solution can be negotiated, in a statement that also called on the United Nations Security Council to set a time limit for that political process.

The idea of ​​sending UN peacekeepers to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been mentioned occasionally by diplomats. But the Arab League appears to be the first time the group has officially made such a request in a written document, according to Farhan Haq, United Nations spokesman.

UN peacekeepers are unlikely to be deployed to Gaza and the West Bank in the near future because sending UN peacekeepers to any conflict first requires authorization from the Council. UN forces, which typically draw from the militaries of multiple countries, do not enter battle zones or engage in combat. Both Israel and Hamas should also agree to have UN peacekeepers on the ground.

“First of all there must be peace to maintain,” Haq said. “We do not engage in active fighting and the parties themselves must agree to allow the presence of peacekeepers. We are not entering as an enemy force or an occupying force.”

The proposal came as part of a final statement released by the League after its 22 members met Thursday in Manama, Bahrain, a summit dominated by discussion of the war on Gaza.

In addition to calling for an immediate ceasefire and accusing Israel of hindering such efforts, the Arab League called for “the deployment of United Nations international protection and peacekeeping forces in the occupied Palestinian territories until the implementation of the two-way solution States”.

The United Nations, Haq said, would be willing to take other measures requested by the Arab League, such as hosting or conducting a peace and ceasefire conference in the conflict. But no final plans have been discussed yet, he said.

Asked whether the United States would support the deployment of UN peacekeepers, a State Department spokesman, Vedant Patel, told reporters in Washington that the introduction of “additional security forces” could potentially compromise the campaign. Israeli to dismantle Hamas.

The Arab League statement, reported by Bahraini state media, also reiterated the group's position that a two-state solution should be based on borders that existed before the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. The group said the Council did not it should only take “clear measures” to implement such a solution, but also set a time limit for doing so.

In a speech at the summit on Thursday, António Guterres, the United Nations secretary-general, said the two-state solution was “the only permanent way to end the cycle of violence and instability.”

“The war in Gaza is an open wound that threatens to infect the entire region,” Guterres said, adding that “nothing” could justify the Oct. 7 Hamas-led attacks on Israel or the “collective punishment of the Palestinian people.” “

The Arab League's appeal to UN peacekeepers came amid a fervent debate over how Gaza should be governed after the war. Ceasefire negotiations were complicated by Israel's land invasion of Rafah. They were already bogged down by sharp disagreements between Israel and Hamas over the length of the truce and the terms of the hostage exchange for Palestinian prisoners and detainees.

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