File Photo: Jordanian King Abdullah II. AFP
Jordan's monarch recalled the 11-day Gaza War of this past summer in his speech before the United Nations, saying Tuesday the latest round of conflict was a reminder that the status quo is unsustainable.
The war in May was the fourth in Gaza since the Hamas Islamic militant group seized power in 2007, triggering a crippling Israeli-Egyptian blockade on the Palestinian territory.
More than 250 people were killed in Gaza, most of them civilians, including dozens of children and women, according to the U.N. There were 13 deaths in Israel. More than 4,000 homes in Gaza were destroyed or severely damaged.
``But how many more homes will be lost? How many more children will die before the world wakes up?'' said King Abdullah, who delivered his pre-recorded remarks remotely to the U.N. General Assembly, though some 100 heads of state and government are attending in person amid the COVID-19 pandemic. ``Genuine security for either side _ indeed, for the whole world _ can only be achieved through the two-state solution.''
He reiterated that such a solution must result in an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, living side-by-side with Israel in peace.
King Abdullah called for the continued support of UNRWA, the U.N. agency that assists millions of Palestinian refugees, among them the majority of Gaza's 2 million residents.
The Jordanian king is a close U.S. ally and his nation has custodianship over the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem, a site holy to both Muslims and Jews, who refer to it as the Temple Mount. The area was the scene of violent confrontations between Israeli security forces and Palestinian worshippers during the last days of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan in May.
Since 2008, more than 4,000 Palestinians have been killed in the conflicts, according to the U.N. While many were fighters for Hamas or other militant groups, more than half were civilians. On the Israeli side, the death toll from the four wars stands at 106, officials say.