Security Council members slam Israel’s construction plans in Palestinian territories

PTI United Nations | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on December 20, 2012

India was joined by all members of the 15-nation UN Security Council except the US to condemn Israel’s announcement of new construction activity in Palestinian territories and demand immediate dismantling of “illegal” settlements.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also expressed his deep concern at the heightened settlement activity in West Bank, saying the move by Israel “gravely threatens efforts to establish a viable Palestinian state.”

India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri, in his capacity as Coordinator of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) caucus of the Security Council, told presspersons here after a UNSC briefing on the situation in the Middle East that there was an attempt in the Council to bring a resolution on the issue.

“It (resolution) did not see the light of the day” even though it had 14 votes in favour but “one permanent member” was against it,” Puri said without naming the US, which has veto power in the Council.

Making a statement on behalf of NAM, Puri said the grouping “condemns the recent provocative announcements by Israel, the occupying power” to construct 3,000 settlement units on confiscated Palestinian land in an area east of occupied Jerusalem.

The new construction activity, widely known as the ‘E-1’ plan is in addition to the announcement by Israel that another 3,600 settlement units would be constructed in occupied territories.

“NAM rejects these illegal actions, which have deliberately intensified after the international community’s reaffirmation of its support for the two-State solution with the General Assembly’s adoption of a resolution which accorded to Palestine the status of non-member observer State in the United Nations,” Puri said.

“NAM calls on Israel to immediately cease its settlement activities and to abide by all of its legal obligations,” he said.

NAM, whose members include Togo, South Africa, Morocco, Pakistan, Guatemala, Colombia and Azerbaijan, stressed that Israel’s settlement activities constitute grave breaches of international humanitarian law and violate numerous United Nations resolutions.

Separately the India, Brazil and South Africa grouping (IBSA) also voiced their grave concern over the continuing settlement activities by Israel, which it said is “not only illegal under international law but also a major obstacle to peace efforts.”

“We reiterate our call on Israel to stop settlement activities. Freezing settlement construction is, however, not enough. Settlements must be dismantled and the occupation must end. We condemn the violence by settlers against Palestinians and their property.”

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Published on December 20, 2012
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