UNSC is united against settlement activity, Palestinian envoy says

Palestinian Authority Ambassador Riyad Mansour called on the Security Council to implement its 2016 resolution 2334 that called on Israel to withdraw to the '67 lines.

UNSC 311 (photo credit: AP)
UNSC 311
(photo credit: AP)

There is "consensus" among United Nations Security Council members when it comes to condemnation of Israeli settlement activity when it held closed-door consultations on the matter on Monday, Palestinian Authority Ambassador Riyad Mansour told reporters in New York late Monday.

"We understand that the discussion was constructive and useful in the informal consultation in the security council. There is consensus among the member in condemning settlement activities," Mansour said. 

That kind of informal consensus is not enough, he explained as he called on the Security Council to implement its 2016 resolution 2334 that called on Israel to withdraw to the '67 lines.

"We will continue to engage to the security council to shoulder its responsibility" in enforcing this resolution, he added. 

"We need these [UN] resolutions, including this one to be implemented," he said.

Palestinian Authority envoy Riyad Mansour. (credit: screenshot)Palestinian Authority envoy Riyad Mansour. (credit: screenshot)

The UNSC, however, did not issue a formal statement on Israel after the meeting, despite the objections of its 15-member body to such activity.

The four UNSC European members — France, Estonia, Ireland and Norway —  along with the incoming member Albania issued an informal statement against settlement activity after the meeting.

"We call upon the Government of Israel to halt settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, including E1 and Givat Hamatos and not to proceed with the tenders for the construction of more than 1300 housing units and plans for the construction of nearly 3000 housing units in Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory announced on 24 and 27 October 2021," said Estonian Ambassador Sven Jürgenson. He read out the joint statement on behalf of the five countries.

"As stated in the Security Council resolution 2334, settlements are illegal under international law and constitute a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace between the parties," Jürgenson said. 

"We reiterate our strong opposition to the expansion of settlements and will not recognize any changes to the pre-1967 borders, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties," he explained.

"We call on both parties to refrain from unilateral actions that increase tensions and undermine the two-state solution and call upon them to build on steps taken in recent months to improve cooperation," he continued.

"We urge all parties to refrain in particular from all forms of violence and incitement targeting the civilian population. We will continue to support steps towards sustainable peace between Israelis and Palestinians," Jürgenson said.