Ban Ki Moon: Israel Must End Occupation – Jerusalem Must be Shared
Sometime around 10:15 on the morning of June 7, 1967…
The first reservist paratroopers of Brigade 55 broke through the Lion’s Gate leading into the Old City of Jerusalem and reached the narrow enclave of the Western Wall. Having just fought a fierce two-day battle in the streets of east Jerusalem, they grieved for lost friends, and grieved as well for their own lost innocence in what for many was their first experience of combat. They leaned against the Wall, some in exhaustion, some in prayer. Several wept, instinctively connecting to the Wall’s tradition of mourning the destruction of the Temple and the loss of Jewish sovereignty—precisely at the moment when Jewish sovereignty over Jerusalem had been restored.
Several hours later, Yitzhak Yifat, a twenty-four-year-old reservist about to begin medical school, reached the Wall. As part of the brigade’s 66th Battalion, he and his friends had fought in the Six Day War’s toughest battle: Intimate combat against elite Jordanian Legionnaires in the trenches of Ammunition Hill, on the road to Mount Scopus.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon slammed Israel’s policy and called for the division of Jerusalem on Tuesday. In a message delivered by his assistant at a UN regional meeting in Uruguay, Ban said: “The target date for completing the Palestinian Authority’s two-year State-building program is fast-approaching.”
“The occupation that started in 1967 is morally and politically unsustainable, and must end,” he told the UN Latin American and Caribbean Meeting in Support of Israeli-Palestinian Peace.
“The Palestinians have a legitimate right to the establishment of an independent and viable State of their own. Israel has the right to live in peace and security within internationally recognized and secure borders.”
The UN chief said that “a way must be found for Jerusalem to emerge as a capital of two States, Israel and Palestine, with arrangements for holy sites acceptable for all.” He added that “there must be a just and agreed solution to the prolonged plight of the Palestinian refugees.”
The green region is area the Israelis captured back in 1967. (Harper College)