UNSC members want resolution on Israeli settlements enforced
Two-thirds of the 15 United Nations Security Council (UNSC) member states have raised alarm over the non-implementation of a 2016 resolution which urges the Israeli regime to stop its settlement expansion on occupied Palestinian territory.
In a letter addressed to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and seen by Reuters on Tuesday, 10 UNSC member states said they were writing to express “profound concern about the lack of implementation” of Resolution 2334.
“The Security Council must stand behind its resolutions and ensure they have meaning; otherwise, we risk undermining the credibility of the international system,” the letter read.
“While there may sometimes be legitimate reasons for oral reports, they should be reserved for exceptional circumstances,” it added.
The council approved Resolution 2334 on December 23, 2016 by a vote of 14-0 when former American president Barack Obama’s administration abstained, stopping short of vetoing the anti-Israel document in a rare move.
The resolution states that “it will not recognize any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem [al-Quds], other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations.”
Israel occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds during the Six Day War in 1967. It later annexed East Jerusalem al-Quds in a move not recognized by the international community.
Elsewhere, Resolution 2334 states that Israel’s establishment of “settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-state solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace.”
It further calls on Israel to “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and that it fully respect all of its legal obligations in this regard.”
About 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built illegally since the 1967 occupation of the Palestinian lands.
The Tel Aviv regime has been emboldened by the all-out support of Obama’s successor, Donald Trump, stepping up even further its settlement construction activities in the occupied territories in defiance of UNSC Resolution 2334.
The letter was submitted on the same day that the US raised Palestinian anger to a boiling point by formally transferring its embassy from Tel Aviv to the Israeli-occupied city of Jerusalem al-Quds.
The relocation, which came a few months after President Donald Trump announced that Washington was recognizing Jerusalem al-Quds as the “capital” of Israel, sparked protests both in Palestinian lands and elsewhere in the world.
In Gaza, Israeli military forces opened fire on the protesters that had gathered at the fence separating the coastal enclave from the Israeli-occupied territory, leaving nearly 60 Palestinians dead and over 2,700 wounded.
The embassy transfer also took place on the eve of Nakba Day, when Palestinians hold demonstrations to condemn their expulsion by the occupying regime from their homeland and the subsequent creation of the Israeli entity in 1948.