Security Council to hold sessions on Israel settlements: Palestine FM
The UN Security Council is to convene two special meetings later this month to discuss the Israeli regime’s land expropriation policies and illegal settlement expansion, the Palestinian foreign minister says.
“The Palestinian side will speak strongly about the issue. We will no longer accept international condemnatory statements since they do not concern Israel. They rather catalyze its steps toward diminishing prospects for the establishment of the Palestinian state,” Riyad al-Malikisaid on Monday.
He added that a draft resolution against the illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories would be submitted during the meetings, scheduled for October 15 and October 24, after “consultation with Security Council member states, including Russia, which is currently chairing it.”
Maliki underlined that talks on the topic have already started, adding that Palestinians together with diplomats from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain are preparing the draft resolution.
Over half a million Israelis live in more than 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem al-Quds.
All Israeli settlements are illegal under international law. Tel Aviv has defied international calls to stop the settlements expansion in the occupied Palestinian territories.
Israel’s settlement expansion has been among the main reasons behind the collapse of the last round of Israeli-Palestinian talks in 2014.
The Israeli anti-settlement group Peace Now reported last week that construction of illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank has increased by four times since September 2015.
The Israeli anti-settlement group said plans to construct 2,168 new housing units moved forward over the last Jewish year, compared to 553 ones the year before.
On September 27, the Israeli Civil Administration’s Planning Authority approved the plan for 98 new settler units in the illegal Shiloh settlement, located 45 kilometers (28 miles) north of Jerusalem al-Quds.