March 20, 2023

The United Nations Safety Council (UNSC) has expressed “deep concern and dismay” over Israel’s settlement exercise in a watered-down assertion changing a draft decision that may have explicitly condemned Israeli insurance policies.

The UNSC presidential assertion — accepted on Monday by all 15 members of the council, together with america — additionally underscored what it referred to as the “obligation of the Palestinian Authority (PA) to surrender and confront terror”.

“The Safety Council reiterates that persevering with Israeli settlement actions are dangerously imperiling the viability of the two-state resolution primarily based on the 1967 traces,” the council mentioned.

The symbolic measure got here in response to a call by the Israeli authorities earlier this month to authorize hundreds of settlement items within the occupied west financial institution and retroactively legalize illegally constructed settlement outposts.

“We’re very joyful that there was a really sturdy united message from the Safety Council in opposition to [Israel’s] Unlawful, unilateral measure,” Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian envoy to the UN, advised reporters on Monday.

Final week, the UNSC appeared set to vote on a draft decision calling for an finish to Israel’s settlement enlargement.

However stories by a number of US and Israeli information retailers, citing diplomatic sources, mentioned the PA agreed to drop its pursuit of the vote amid stress from the US governmentincluding guarantees of a monetary assist package deal.

As a part of the deal, the sources mentioned Israel would briefly droop bulletins for brand new settlement items and Palestinian residence demolitions.

The Reuters information company mentioned on Monday that the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which had drafted the decision together with PA officers, knowledgeable the UNSC that the decision and vote can be dropped.

The decision would have demanded Israel “instantly and fully stop all settlement actions within the occupied Palestinian territory”.

Israel captured the West Financial institution, together with East Jerusalem and Gaza, in 1967. Since then, it has constructed settlements housing tons of of hundreds of Israelis on the occupied lands, which Palestinians search as a part of their future state.

Worldwide legislation explicitly prohibits occupying powers from transferring their civilian inhabitants into occupied territories. A UN professional has beforehand referred to as Israeli settlements a “battle crimes,

Monday’s UNSC assertion referred to as on all events to “observe calm and restraint, and to chorus from provocative actions, incitement and inflammatory rhetoric”.

It additionally urged “full respect for worldwide humanitarian legislation, together with the safety of the civilian inhabitants”.

“The Safety Council reaffirms the appropriate of all States to dwell in peace inside safe and internationally acknowledged borders, and stresses that each the Israeli and Palestinian individuals are entitled to equal measures of freedom, safety, prosperity, justice, and dignity,” it learn. , echoing language that US President Joe Biden and his prime aides commonly employed,

Israel rejected the assertion as “one-sided”, criticizing Washington particularly for backing it.

“The assertion ought to by no means have been made and america ought to by no means have joined it,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s workplace mentioned.

Louis Charbonneau, UN director at Human Rights Watch, mentioned the UNSC ought to clearly condemn settlements.

“Whereas it is useful to have the UN Safety Council criticize Israeli human rights violations in opposition to the Palestinians, right this moment’s assertion, diluted underneath stress from the US and #Israel, is a far cry from the full-throated condemnation the grave scenario deserves,” Charbonneau wrote. in a tweet.

On the UNSC on Monday, US envoy Linda Thomas-Greenfield unambiguously voiced US opposition to Israel’s settlement exercise however didn’t condemn the Israeli coverage.

“These unilateral measures exacerbate tensions; they hurt belief between the events,” she mentioned of Israel’s settlement announcement. “They undermine the prospects for a negotiated two-state resolution. The USA doesn’t assist these actions, full cease.

In his personal assertion to the council on Monday, Mansour, the Palestinian envoy, warned that the scenario may quickly “attain some extent of no return”.

“Each motion we take now issues. Each phrase we utter issues. Each choice we delay issues,” he mentioned.

Israel, accused of imposing a system of apartheid by main human rights organizations like Amnesty Internationalreceives no less than $3.8bn of US assist yearly.

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