PA to UN: Don’t underestimate urgency of halting Israeli annexation

“The urgency of stopping Israeli annexation schmoes can not be under-estimated. We need to stop them from annexation before it talks place,” PA envoy Riyad Mansour said.

Palestinian Authority envoy Riyad Mansour. (photo credit: screenshot)
Palestinian Authority envoy Riyad Mansour.
(photo credit: screenshot)
The United Nations Security Council must sanction Israel over its plans to annex the West Bank, Palestinian Authority envoy Riyad Mansour told the 15-member body, as he stressed the urgency of the situation.
“The urgency of stopping Israeli annexation schemes cannot be underestimated. We need to stop them from annexation before it takes place,” Mansour said.
He spoke while in Israel, the two top Israeli leadership contenders, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and challenger Blue and White Party head Benny Gantz, argued over Twitter as to when the best time was to apply sovereignty to the Jordan Valley.
Netanyahu has pledged to annex all West Bank settlements after the formation of a new government.
Mansour warned that US President Donald Trump’s peace plan, which he believed would be published soon, would fail unless it fell in line with past understandings of a two-state solution at the pre-1967 lines.
“Any initiative not rooted in the global consensus and international law and UN resolutions will fail,” Mansour said.
He called on the UN Security Council to sanction Israel over those efforts, it being a move that is unlikely to occur because the US has veto power to halt such a move at the council.
“There should be no hesitation to pursue prosecution of perpetrators and to impose sanctions,” Mansour said.
It’s clear that “absent accountability” Israel would persist in its illegal activities, he said.
“This is not Israeli bashing. It is a call for respect for the law and a call for safeguarding human rights and salvaging a just solution that can finally end the conflict,” he said.
Mansour told the council that Israeli and US efforts to sabotage a two-state solution “would not end the Palestinian fight for freedom.”
French Ambassador to the UN Nicolas de Rivièrel said he was also worried about Israeli annexation statements.
“I wish to reaffirm France’s great concern over the slippage to a the mindset of annexation,” de Rivièrel said. He called for a two-state solution based on the pre-1967 lines, noting “it is futile to think it’s possible to meet the aspirations of people to the detriment of the other.”
US Ambassador Kelly Craft, however, told the council “genuine progress” toward peace would only occur when the body treated Israeli “with greater evenhandedness.
“Indeed, while the world criticizes Israel, Israel is making the world a better place. The Council should not lose sight of this fact. I will not allow us to,” Craft said.
She called on the body to focus on the true perpetrator of instability in the region – Iran.
UN Under-Secretary General for Political Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo warned that annexation “would deal a devastating blow to the potential of reviving negotiations, advancing regional peace, and the essence of the two-State solution.”