Mar 24, 2015, 10:56 AM
News Code: 81550078
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White House says Israel must end 50-year occupation

Tehran, March 24, IRNA – The White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough said on Monday that the Zionist regime must end its 50-year occupation of the West Bank.

He made the remarks while addressing the annual conference of the US-based left-leaning advocacy group of J Street which sharply opposes policies of the Zionist regime's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

'An occupation that has lasted for almost 50 years must end, and the Palestinian people must have the right to live in and govern themselves in their own sovereign state, McDonough said adding, 'In the end, we know what a peace agreement should look like. The borders of Israel and an independent Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps.'

Since his re-election on March 17, Netanyahu has tried to row back on his election eve remarks dismissing a two-state solution, long a cornerstone of U.S. peacemaking efforts.

McDonough added that White House isn’t impressed by Netanyahu’s efforts since last Tuesday to backtrack on what he meant when he said there wouldn’t be a Palestinian state established so long as he’s prime minister.

“We cannot simply pretend that these comments were never made,” McDonough said.

“The United States will never stop working for a two-state solution and a lasting peace that Israelis and Palestinians so richly deserve,” he stressed.

McDonough then described the alternate to a two-state agreement: a one-state solution based on unilateral annexation and abandonment of democratic rights for Palestinians that, he warned, “would only contribute to Israel’s further isolation.” In other words, he said, more divestment, boycotts and efforts to delegitimize Israel in the international community.

“An occupation that has lasted more than 50 years must end,” McDonough said, one of several times he brought the crowd to its feet.

Though he didn’t specifically mention the prime minister, who denounced the negotiations in a controversial address to Congress last month, McDonough dismissed “an absolutist position [that] makes for good rhetoric.”

Touching upon the issue of a nuclear deal world powers are trying to reach with Iran Iran, McDonough said it is 'realistic and achievable.'