Netanyahu: Israel to keep security control over West Bank

As 50th anniversary of Six Day War dawns, peace in Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains as elusive as ever

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that Israel will maintain security control over all of the West Bank, with or without a peace agreement with the Palestinians.

"We seek peace with our neighbours, a real peace, a peace that will last for generations", Netanyahu said at the event, held at the Israeli army's Armoured Corps Museum at Latrun, west of Jerusalem. "It is the only way to achieve the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people", Mr. Antonio Guteress said.

He said Palestinians were now marking "a half-century of deep suffering under an occupation imposed by military force" and marked by "systematic" violations of worldwide law.

Among them are generation after generation of Palestinians who 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, he added. "Instead of spreading Palestinian misinformation, it would be best if the United Nations stuck with the facts".

Second, and perhaps equally important, is that if the Arab states do not agree to normalize relations with Israel, as is likely, Israel can then place the blame for the failure of renewed peace talks with the Palestinians on the Arabs.

In a speech opening a three-week session of the U.N. Human Rights Council, Zeid Raad al-Hussein observed the 50th anniversary of when he "first heard the sound of war" as a boy in Amman, Jordan. Israel later withdrew from Gaza but lay a siege to it. Israel was crowned a regional power.

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely called on Guterres to "correct the [UN's] distortion" of "occupation".

Expert on Israeli affairs, Nazir Majali, said: "The families of the captured soldiers feel that the policy of silence has led to a lack of interest from the Israeli government and that the government exploited their silence and continued to procrastinate".

The Anti-Defamation League criticized Guterres' statement, saying that it focuses on the war's impact while omitting context on the Israeli-Arab conflict and why the war broke out.

The Six-Day War's Hebrew calendar anniversary, including Israel's annual celebration of its reunification of Jerusalem, had been marked May 23-24. "While we share his desire for a return to negotiations to achieve a two-state solution, this anniversary can not be viewed in a vacuum".

While there is no official overall figure for Israel's spending on Jewish settler units since the June 1967 war, the Israeli finance ministry has been publishing partial figures every year, and these show the sum standing at $3.5 billion over 12 years up to 2015, a figure that does not include investments before 2003. Israel was admitted to the UN.

An eastern front in the war opened on June 5 when, despite a warning from Israel to King Hussein that Jordan should stay out if it, Jordanian forces began shelling West Jerusalem.

- A lawmaker from the Hamas militant group in the West Bank said Monday that he and his colleagues received their monthly salaries after initially fearing the payments had been halted by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

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