UN Security Council Approves Watered-Down Statement Opposing Illegal Jewish Settlements

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas address the United Nations General Assembly. (Photo: via United Nations website)

The UN Security Council unanimously approved on Monday a watered-down statement opposing Israel’s continued construction and expansion of settlements, The New Arab reported.

The vote came after high-stakes negotiations by the United States succeeded in derailing a legally binding resolution that would have demanded a halt to Israeli settlement activity.

The Palestinian-backed draft resolution was the subject of frantic talks by senior Joe Biden administration officials including US Secretary of State Antony Blinken with Palestinian, Israeli and United Arab Emirates leaders.

Those discussions culminated in a deal Sunday to forego it in favor of a weaker presidential statement that is not legally binding, according to multiple diplomats familiar with the situation.

The deal averted a potential diplomatic crisis, with the US almost certainly vetoing the resolution, which would have angered Palestinian supporters at a time when the US and its Western allies are trying to gain international support against Russia for its war with Ukraine.

To avoid a vote on the draft resolution, the diplomats said the US managed to convince both Israel and the Palestinians to agree in principle to a six-month freeze in any unilateral action they might take.

On the Israeli side, that would mean a commitment to not expanding settlements until at least August, according to the diplomats. On Monday, the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would not greenlight any new settlements in the West Bank beyond nine outposts that it approved retroactively earlier this month.

On the Palestinian side, the diplomats said it would mean a commitment until August not to pursue action against Israel at the United Nations and other international bodies such as the World Court, the International Criminal Court and the UN Human Rights Council.

(The New Arab, PC)

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