Guterres calls for two-state solution for Israel, Palestine

"This occupation has imposed a heavy humanitarian and development burden on the Palestinian people", the statement said. And few things are as valuable to Israel today as the opportunity to shift the blame for its continued denial of Palestinian rights.

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.

Speaking at a ceremony commemorating the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, Netanyahu insisted that Israel - with or without a peace agreement - meant to maintain security control "over the entire territory west of the Jordan River".

During a recent visit to Israel, President Donald Trump said he is personally committed to helping Israelis and Palestinians achieve a peace agreement, and that he believes leaders on both sides want peace.

As the occupation enters its second half-century, the focus should be on increasing the protection of the rights of the population of the occupied territory, the HRW statement said.

June 5, 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the Six Day War, a historic victory for Israel, not yet 20 years old, defending itself from annihilation by hostile neighbors, crowned by the miraculous reunification of Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the Jewish people.

Hamas is the main political rival of Abbas, who oversees autonomous enclaves in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Its supporters, including leaders from Cambridge-based Palestine Advocacy Project, said their resolution was not a radical departure from the positions of past USA administrations.

In April, the Palestinian Authority said it would no longer fund electricity that Israel supplies to the Gaza Strip and it has slashed the salaries of its 60,000 civil servants in Gaza - but not the West Bank - by 30 percent, offering no explanation other than a lack of foreign aid money.

According to the HRW, Israeli troops killed well over 2,000 Palestinian civilians in the last three Gaza conflicts (2008-09, 2012 and 2014) alone. "Some amount to war crimes, including the targeting of apparent civilian structures", the group said. Several hundred are being held without trial or charges.