RIYADH: Only a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine can prevent the outbreak of an all-out regional and possible global conflict, said Egypt’s Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli at the World Economic Forum here on Monday.

Participating in a panel discussion on Gaza, Madbouli said that if the current situation continues this would also affect the future of Israel.

“It is now or never, the whole world should unite to recognize the rights of Palestinians to have their own state. If you could imagine that postponing this will solve the problem, or will be in Israel’s interest, you are wrong. It will be against the future of Israel itself.”

He added: “We are speaking about a nation that has been under aggression and occupation for the past 75 years. Behind closed doors, everybody recognizes their right to exist, but when it comes to reality, and to have a solid solution, everybody is refraining.”

Madbouli said a two-state solution is the only remedy to achieve regional peace.

“It is today that we all have to push for a two-state solution, along with a serious regional solution. No one can imagine the situation if a regional war had to start. If you imagine that you are far then you are in a very elusive situation, everybody will be affected. We have already seen a sample of a war between Iran and Israel this month.”

Other panelists, including Jordan’s Prime Minister Bisher Al-Khasawneh and Sigrid Kaag, the UN humanitarian and reconstruction coordinator for Gaza, expressed their frustration with the situation on the ground.

Al-Khasawneh said: “This is indeed an extremely timely event, challenging and depressing. There are a lot of diplomatic activities underway, along with the continued Israeli aggression on Gaza and the potential for another catastrophic additional aggression on Rafah, which by all standards will be a catastrophe that adds on to a catastrophe that has led to conditions close to famine in Gaza.”

He said the damage caused by Israel’s campaign is estimated to be about $18.7 billion; and that the UN reports that 1.1 million children require psychological counseling.

Al-Khasawneh also called for a two-state solution: “Israel insists on making the same mistakes, and expecting different results, which is not engaging seriously in a political solution.”

He added: “The world seems to be falling into the trap of following the agenda of narrow-minded Israeli politicians, frankly speaking, and it is quite catastrophic. Today it is about the political calculations of some politicians in Israel at the expense of, the safety of Israelis, the safety of Jordanians, Egyptians, and all the Arabs. Today it’s the safety of the whole region and beyond.”

Kaag said a political solution has to be found. “If we look ahead, the reconstruction efforts, from an investment perspective, are all tied to the political parameters, the two-state solution.”

Kaag added: “The paradigm shift is in the now, but it’s also looking towards the future because of the level of destruction and despair, people there tell you that they feel like zombies. The mental health crisis is humongous. So, we need to create hope through investment, rehabilitation, and focus on the political effort. I think we failed the Palestinians countless times, and they deserve more human rights.”