The FDFA reaffirms its support for a two-state solution

Press releases, 09.02.2017

The Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) notes that the adoption by the Israeli parliament on Monday 6 February 2017 of a law aimed at legalising under Israeli law the building of homes, and in particular the building of numerous outposts, on private Palestinian land in the occupied Palestinian territory makes the prospect of a two-state solution, which the FDFA advocates, even more difficult.

Before this law was adopted, the FDFA had already repeatedly expressed its concerns to the Israeli authorities. Because the law has retroactive effect, it is designed to legalise, for the first time under Israeli law, the expropriation of private Palestinian land with the specific objective of establishing settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory. This law seeks to perpetuate the existence of thousands of illegal homes. It paves the way for a significant increase in the number of settlements in new areas of the West Bank.

The FDFA reiterates that all Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, including outposts, are illegal under international humanitarian law. This position was reaffirmed in UN Security Council Resolution 2334. The Israeli settlements also violate the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the Palestinian population, as well as its right to self-determination. The FDFA calls on Israel to respect its international obligations and for the legality of this law to be examined.

The FDFA considers that the adoption of this law is a new obstacle to peace and a threat to the two-state solution. It undermines trust in the Israeli government's commitment to the two-state solution. It is Switzerland’s position that only a negotiated two-state solution can lead to a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians. The FDFA urges the Israeli government to reaffirm its commitment to the two-state solution, in particular through the immediate cessation of unilateral measures that undermine its implementation. This position was recently upheld by more than 70 states and international organisations in a joint statement issued, with Switzerland’s support, following the ministerial meeting in Paris on 15 January 2017 and in the last report of the Middle East Quartet.