UN debate: Are West Bank settlements a stumbling block to peace?

By convening the meeting the Palestinians are hoping to sway the UNSC to pass a resolution condemning West Bank settlements.

October 14, 2016 17:09
UN Headquarters

Delegates sit for a Security Council meeting at the UN Headquarters in New York. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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An informal meeting of the United Nations Security Council in New York is now debating the issue of West Bank settlements under the title: “Obstacles to Peace and the Two-State Solution.”

The event was initiated at the request of the Palestinian Authority, through a fairly new UNSC venue called an Arria Formula that allows topics to be aired that might otherwise not be discussed in a more formal meeting of the 15-member states of the UNSC.

By convening the meeting the Palestinians are hoping to sway the UNSC to pass a resolution condemning West Bank settlements.

According to the Palestinian news agency, WAFA, the PA has already started to work on the draft text, which they hope to finalize by the end of the month.

So far the US, which is one of five UNSC members with veto power, has blocked all such moves, including in 2011 when it formally vetoed such a text.

Israel, however, is concerned that US President Barack Obama, in his final months in office, could support a more sweeping UNSC resolution that would set the framework for a final status agreement with the Palestinians.

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