Zuma: Violence cannot resolve Middle East conflict

President Jacob Zuma told the UN that it should remain committed to a two-state solution.

President Jacob Zuma addresses the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on 24 September 2014. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - President Jacob Zuma says the United Nations appears to be helpless in dealing with the conflict between Israel and Palestinians.

Addressing the 69th General Assembly yesterday, Zuma highlighted the body's apparent lack of power, especially the Security Council during the recent fighting between the Jewish state and Hamas.

More than 2,200 Palestinians, most of them civilians, and 66 Israeli soldiers and five civilians were killed in the 50 days of fighting.

Zuma says resorting to violence will not solve Israeli-Palestinian tensions.

"Our strongly held view is that there can be no military solution to the Israeli-Palestinian question. We should remain committed to the two-state solution based on the 1967 borders with Palestine and Israel coexisting side by side."

Meanwhile, Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah have met in Cairo, Egypt, to try and overcome their differences and strengthen their hand for upcoming talks with Israel.

Unless resolved, the rift between the two could threaten the Egyptian-mediated effort to turn the ceasefire agreed with Israel last month that halted the Gaza conflict into a lasting truce.