'PA seeks UNSC debate on J'lem settlement building'

"The world recognizes east Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state,” spokesman for PA president says.

UN Security Council 311 (photo credit: courtesy)
UN Security Council 311
(photo credit: courtesy)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has instructed his envoy to the UN to request an urgent meeting of the Security Council to discuss construction in Jerusalem and the West Bank, Nabil Abu Rudaineh, a spokesman for the PA presidency, announced on Wednesday.
PA Foreign Minister Riyad Malki sent an urgent message to the envoy, ordering him to move immediately to request the Security Council meeting and to coordinate with various groups at the UN in this regard, Abu Rudaineh said.
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“Settlement construction in Jerusalem or any other part of the Palestinian territories is in violation of international law, which considers settlements and the establishment of facts on the ground as illegitimate,” he added.
According to a spokesman for the United Kingdom’s mission to the United Nations – which holds the presidency of the Security Council this month – no special sessions or resolutions specifically dealing with east Jerusalem have yet been requested.
“There has been talk by parties about perhaps having a meeting and discussing it during our presidency, but not a firm commitment or request,” the spokesman said.
The spokesman also dismissed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s statement that Jerusalem was the capital of Israel and not a settlement.
“The entire world hasn’t recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” Abu Rudaineh said. “Instead, the world recognizes east Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state.”
He noted that the US, which has an embassy in Tel Aviv, also doesn’t recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
He warned that plans to build new homes in the settlements and Jerusalem would sabotage efforts to revive the stalled peace talks with Israel.
Ahmed Ruwaidi, head of the Jerusalem portfolio in Abbas’s bureau, claimed on Wednesday that Israel was planning to completely destroy Jerusalem and create a new “Israeli Jerusalem.”
He said that the “new Jerusalem would include new settlements and a complete change of the reality in the Old City.”
Jordana Horn contributed to this report.