The IDF chief of staff has called on Israel to “expedite the return” of Palestinians and the return of refugees to their homes, as a new UN resolution was passed at the Security Council on Wednesday.
Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, who took over from Yaalon in July, also told the council that Israel should end its occupation of Palestinian land.
The UN resolution calls for the return to the territory of the Palestinians of any refugees, residents of the occupied territories and those displaced by the conflict, as well as the return for those displaced from the Gaza Strip.
Yaalon also called on the Palestinians to return to their ancestral homes, saying that if the Palestinian people want to live there they must leave the occupied territory.
The resolution passed by the council follows weeks of intense international pressure on Israel over its continued settlement activities in the occupied West Bank.
On March 27, Israel captured East Jerusalem, the West Bank’s capital, and the surrounding areas.
Israel also annexed the Golan Heights, the Syrian Golan, and annexed the city of Gaza in 2018.
On Monday, Yaalon said Israel’s “policy of occupation has been a grave violation of international law and the laws of war, as it has endangered innocent civilians.”
Yaalon is the third Israeli defense minister to call for the Palestinians’ return.
Yaavot Barak, Israel’s top foreign policy official, called on Sunday for the UN to pass a resolution calling on Israel and the Palestinians “to end the occupation and to immediately return to all their ancestral lands, including their historical homes, which the Palestinian Liberation Organization and other international organizations have declared their historic homes.”
A senior official of the Israeli Defense Forces, Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, called for the IDF to return the Palestinians from “the land they occupied and to ensure their return to its lands.”
Barak is expected to meet with Yaalon at the IDF headquarters on Monday.
Israel annexed the West