Failing to issue a statement denouncing the US stance regarding the legality of settlements, all members of the United Nations Security Council — except the US — rejected Washington’s decision to no longer consider settlements a violation of international law. Four European nations said the move hindered peace efforts.
The UN Security Council, on Wednesday, overwhelmingly opposed the recent US policy shift on Israeli settlements, Al Ray reports.
The council’s monthly meeting on the Middle East came just two days after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the US would no longer consider Israeli settlements to be a violation of international law, reversing a US policy consensus that has lasted four decades.
Vatican announced that US decision to consider Israeli settlements in West Bank as legal, threatens the peace process and stability in the region.
The Swedish Churches Association criticized the decision, calling for a two-state solution.
Special Coordinator for the UN, Nickolay Mladenov, opened the council meeting expressing ”regret” over the US decision and reiterating a December 2016 UN council resolution stating that settlements were ”a flagrant violation under international law.”
Prior to the meeting, the UK, France, Germany, Belgium and Poland also released a joint statement calling on Israel ”to end all settlement activity, in line with its obligations as an occupying power,” saying such activity ”erodes the viability of the two-state solution and the prospects for a lasting peace.”
The chief Palestinian delegate at the UN, Riyad Mansour, was also at the meeting and took a jab at the US decision, saying Donald Trump’s administration had again made “another illegal announcement on Israeli settlements in order to sabotage any chance to achieve peace, security and stability.”
Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn said that the EU have to recognize the Palestinian state after the US announcement:
“Recognizing Palestine as a state is not a favor or an authorization, it is the right of Palestinian people.”
Days of Palestine further reported that, on Thursday, the British Foreign Office said that its position regarding the Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank did not change.
A spokesperson for the Foreign Office said that the United Kingdom’s stance, vis-à-vis settlements, was clear — mainly that they are “illegal” under the international law.
The statement stressed that the settlements represent an obstacle to peace and the two-state solution. The spokesperson urged Israel to end its settlement expansion policy.