On Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously endorsed a weak statement vehemently criticizing Israel’s ongoing settlement development.
The vote was held after the Biden administration’s intense diplomacy successfully prevented a legally binding resolution that would have demanded a cessation of Israeli settlement activity from passing.
Senior Biden administration officials, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken, frantically discussed the draft resolution sponsored by the Palestinians with the leaders of Palestine, Israel, and the United Arab Emirates.
According to many diplomats familiar with the matter, those conversations ended in a deal Sunday to forego it in favor of a lesser presidential statement that is not legally obligatory.
The agreement avoided a potential diplomatic crisis. The United States would have almost certainly vetoed the resolution, upsetting Palestinian supporters when the United States and its Western allies attempt to win support from other nations against Russia for its conflict with Ukraine. This week, the conflict commemorated a year since President Vladimir Putin’s invasion.
The diplomats claimed that the U.S. persuaded Israel and the Palestinians to agree to a six-month pause in any unilateral action, preventing a vote on the draft resolution.
According to the diplomats, that would require Israel to promise to refrain from enlarging settlements until at least August.
The office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared on Monday that after the nine outposts it retroactively approved earlier this month, Israel would not permit any additional wildcat settlements in the West Bank.
That would entail a pledge from the Palestinian side not to pursue action against Israel at the UN until August, according to the diplomats. … other world organizations, including the United Nations, the International Criminal Court, and the World Court. Council on Human Rights.
The Palestinians pushed for a resolution when Israel’s new right-wing administration confirmed its resolve to build new settlements in the West Bank and increase its control over the region.
In the 1967 Middle East conflict, Israel took control of the West Bank, east Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. The UN and the majority of the international community view Israeli settlements as unlawful and a barrier to resolving the protracted Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
In the West Bank and east Jerusalem that Israel has annexed, some 700,000 Israeli settlers reside.
The presidential declaration makes no demands to stop or criticize Israeli settlement construction. “All acts of violence against people, including acts of terrorism,” are condemned.
The Security Council “strongly opposes all unilateral measures obstructing peace, including… Israeli construction and expansion of settlements, confiscation of Palestinian land, and the ‘legalization’ of settlement outposts, demolition of Palestinian homes, and displacement of Palestinian civilians,” regarding settlements.
Also, the council expressed “great worry and dismay” about Israel’s declaration on February 12, 2023, regarding additional settlement construction and growth and the “legalization” of settlement outposts.
Palestinian U.N. representative Riyad Mansour “The fact that we have a united front… is a step in the right way,” the ambassador told reporters.
The statement is “the first output from the Security Council on the situation in Palestine in six years,” said UAE Ambassador Lana Nusseibeh, the council’s Arab supporter of the resolution.
She asserted that the council sent a “strong, unifying signal” to see a long-running crisis “end” through de-escalation, negotiation, and focusing on political constraints.
The Security Council stressed that stopping settlement activities “is essential for salvaging the two-state solution” in its December 2016 resolution, which called on Israel to “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.”
The United States’ long-standing policy of shielding its close friend Israel from the action at the UN, including by vetoing resolutions supported by the Arab world, was reversed when President Barack Obama’s administration decided to abstain.