Pope Francis, with unwavering conviction, has made his position clear regarding the persistent Israel-Palestine conflict. He fervently advocates a two-state solution as the only viable path to peace, reiterating the profound truth that "war is always a defeat." His resolute stand highlights the urgency of achieving a harmonious coexistence for both nations.
In a recent interview with Italian RAI television, the Pope articulated his belief in the necessity of these two peoples coexisting harmoniously, predicated on the Oslo Accords, which delineate the contours of two distinct, well-defined states.
Furthermore, he alluded to the importance of according Jerusalem a unique and special status to address this delicate matter effectively. The Holy Father conveyed his sincere hope that the conflagration would not metastasize into a broader regional conflict, and he expressed a deep-seated concern over the upsurge of anti-Semitism, a matter that necessitates unwavering vigilance and concerted efforts to combat.
The roots of this longstanding conflict can be traced back to the Oslo Accords of 1993, brokered by Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat. These accords paved the way for limited Palestinian autonomy, but a lasting peace agreement continued to elude all parties concerned.
Israel does not want to give Jerusalem international status
Notably, the year 2000 witnessed a high-stakes summit involving U.S. President Bill Clinton, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, and Yasser Arafat, yet their efforts fell short in securing a final peace agreement.
At the heart of this strife lies the issue of Jerusalem. Israel's occupation of East Jerusalem dates back to 1967, and in 1980, it unilaterally declared the entire city as its "unique and eternal capital." Conversely, the Palestinians lay claim to the eastern part of Jerusalem as their capital.
Crucially, Israel has consistently rebuffed propositions advocating for Jerusalem to have a special or international status. This deep-seated disagreement over the status of Jerusalem remains a central obstacle in the path toward a comprehensive resolution to the Israel-Palestine conflict.
The Pope's steadfast advocacy for a two-state solution reflects his earnest desire to see a just and lasting peace emerge from this protracted conflict.