Palestine: 50 Years of Occupation a Stain on Human History

This week marks 50 years of Israel’s occupation of Palestine, in violation of international law. Three generations of Palestinians have now suffered under the occupation, which continues to flagrantly deny their fundamental rights and deprives them of the opportunity to build better lives for themselves and for coming generations.

In the words of United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, the continued occupation is “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.

“Generation after generation of Palestinians have been compelled to grow up and live in ever more crowded refugee camps, many in abject poverty, and with little or no prospect of a better life for their children.

“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 realising the legitimate national and historic aspirations of both peoples.”

The ITUC calls on the international community to renew efforts to bring Israel to the negotiating table to end the occupation and to realise a two-state solution according to the 4 June 1967 borders in line with the relevant United Nations Resolutions. The ITUC also demands the removal of all the illegal settlements, and reiterates that economic relations with the settlements sustains their existence in violation of international law. The only way to ensure peaceful co-existence of two sovereign states is through negotiation, and it is incumbent on governments around the world to do all in their power to bring that about.

See also: ITUC 2014 Congress Statement (Peace and Democracy)