Israel is flouting a United Nations Security Council resolution demanding a halt to settlement building on occupied Palestinian land, a senior UN envoy said on Tuesday.
UN Middle East envoy Nickolay Mladenov made the assessment in his second quarterly report to the 15-member Security Council on the implementation of a Dec. 23 resolution adopted with 14 votes in favor and a U.S. abstention. Then US President-elect Donald Trump and Israel had urged Washington to wield its veto.
“The policy of continued illegal settlement construction in the occupied Palestinian territory contravenes resolution 2334,” Mladenov said.
“The large number of settlement-related activities documented during this period undermine the chances for the establishment of a viable, contiguous Palestinian state as part of a two-state solution,” he said.
Mladenov again warned the Council that Gaza was a “tinderbox.”
“Two million Palestinians in Gaza can no longer be held hostage by divisions,” he said. “For a decade . . . they have had to deal with crippling Israeli closures . . . and have lived through three devastating conflicts.”
“Regrettably, such calls continued to go unanswered,” Mladenov further stated.
The UN Security Council passed a resolution last year that demanded an immediate halt to all settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The US, under former president Barack Obama, allowed the measure to pass by virtue of withholding its veto power — to the fury of then presidential candidate Trump.
Israel is currently moving forward with plans to build thousands of new settlement homes in the West Bank and Occupied Jerusalem. Most countries view Israeli settlement activity as illegal and an obstacle to peace. Israel disagrees.