The United Nations Security Council on Monday expressed “deep concern and dismay” over Israel’s settlement policy in the West Bank in a statement approved by all 15 members of the council, including the United States.
“The Security Council reiterates that continuing Israeli settlement activities are dangerously imperiling the viability of the two-state solution based on the 1967 lines,” read the statement.
The statement referred to a plan by the Israeli government to authorize the construction of 10,000 housing units in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, known as the West Bank, and to retroactively legalize nine Israeli outposts in response to a recent wave of deadly Palestinian terror attacks against Israeli civilians.
The government plan was later scrapped under pressure from the Biden administration, in exchange for the U.S canceling a vote on an anti-Israel resolution.
In response, Washington initiated talks between Israel, the Palestinian Authority and the United Arab Emirates, which sponsored the resolution.
“Given the positive talks between the parties, we are now working on a draft PRST (presidential statement) which would garner consensus,” the UAE wrote on Sunday, in an official note to the Security Council ahead of the discussion.
Nevertheless, the watered-down presidential statement adopted by the council, was rebuked by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
His office issued a statement on Monday following the discussion: “The UN Security Council has issued a one-sided statement which denies the rights of Jews to live in our historic homeland, fails to mention the Palestinian terror attacks in Jerusalem in which 10 Israeli civilians were murdered, ignores the Palestinian Authority’s grotesque pay-for-slay policy – which subsidizes the murder of Jews – and belittles the evil of antisemitism, which has resulted in the slaughter of millions.”
“The statement should never have been made and the United States should never have joined it,” the prime minister wrote.
According to Reuters, the statement marks the first time in six years that the U.S. has allowed an anti-Israel action at the UN Security Council.
In 2016, the United States surprised Israel when it chose not to use its veto power on UNSC Resolution 2334 a short time before then-U.S. President Barack Obama left office. The resolution stated that Israel’s “settlement activity” constitutes a “flagrant violation” of international law and has “no legal validity.”
Israeli officials later alleged that the Obama administration worked behind the scenes to pass the 2016 resolution.
Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan delivered a speech at the council in which he held a minute of silence in honor of 11 Israeli victims of terror from recent weeks.
“Today’s meeting should have been wholly dedicated to the innocent Israelis recently murdered, but seeing as this council preferred to focus elsewhere, I ask that the minimum respect be paid to the victims and their memory,” Erdan said, holding a picture of two slain young brothers, who were killed in a car ramming attack in Jerusalem.
“The Palestinian Authority runs a monstrous propaganda campaign that would make Goebbels and Hitler very proud. They poison the minds of generations, teaching them that violently murdering Jews means infinite glory. They are taught from a young age that the Jewish state has no right to exist,” the ambassador stressed.
“Their evil seeps into kindergartens, educating that martyrdom is the only way. You can see this with your own eyes, yet none of the ‘dismay’ and ‘concern’ expressed in your joint statement is directed towards this Palestinian incitement,” Erdan told the council.
“Where is your concern and dismay for these celebrations of murder? Where are they?” he asked. “It is difficult to understand what this council truly expects Israel to do while faced with a terror authority that constantly strives for our delegitimization and that has lost control, in much of its areas, of course including Gaza, to Hamas, a designated terror organization.”
Tal Heinrich is a senior correspondent for both ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS. She is currently based in New York City. Tal also provides reports and analysis for Israeli Hebrew media Channel 14 News.