In an address to the members of the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday 23 July, Riyad Mansour – Palestine’s representative in the United Nations – decried Israeli “war crimes” and extremist acts of “terror” against the Palestinians, and openly condemned its policies of land confiscation and settlement construction. Mansour said that Palestine has not set formal conditions for the start of peace talks, but that any talks would be based on recognizing of both the 1967 borders and the establishment of Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine. He also addressed the situation of Palestine’s refugees. According to Ynet News, Mansour stated that “settlements are the main obstacle to peace as they sabotage any effort to achieve a two-state solution.”

Ynet News also reported that Mansour welcomed the European Union’s recent directive forbidding its members from working with or funding organizations and persons located in the West Bank or Golan settlements, which are illegal under international law. Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Ron Prosor, condemned the EU directive, and also accused the United Nations of being “one-sided” in its monthly humanitarian reports about the situation in Israel and Palestine.

The latest report released by the UN revealed that during the first half of 2013 there was an increase in the number of Palestinians injured by Israeli forces and also an increase in the number of Palestinians forcibly displaced from their homes due to demolitions.