In a speech given in Jerusalem on Thursday, he spoke of what he called the profound "crisis of hope" that he witnessed on both sides:
"This has been described by many others before me. The hope for a better future, for generations who have only known life under occupation, has all but evaporated."
The policies surrounding the settlements affect all areas of Palestinians' lives, and their ability to live in dignity, while exacerbating a climate of fear for Israeli civilians. These realities undermine the prospects of any just and lasting peace agreement.
The ICRC is calling on the Government of Israel to bring the principles of international humanitarian law back to the table in addressing the legal and humanitarian aspects of the settlement enterprise. Only then, will this crisis of hope be averted.
"Every responsible political decision must be made bearing in mind the effect it has on the lives of ordinary people," said Maurer. "It was a sobering experience for me to return after three years to see that things have only changed for the worse."