All Israeli settlements are illegal, they must stop: UN Chief
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urges to cease all settlement activities as they are illegal under international law.
The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Wednesday that Israeli-built settlements are ‘illegal’ and they ‘must stop’.
“All settlement activity is illegal under international law. And it must stop," Guterres told the UN members, adding that "At the same time, incitement to violence is a dead end. Nothing justifies terrorism. It must be rejected by all."
The Israeli occupation government announced last week its decision to legalize nine illegal settlement outposts in the occupied West Bank and initiate a project to build some 10,000 houses for illegal Israeli settlers on UN-recognized occupied Palestinian territories.
The United Nations is biased and is ignoring "Palestinian terrorism", claimed Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen claimed on Tuesday after the UN Security Council issued a statement merely condemning illegal Israeli settlement expansion and expressing concern over the occupation's plans to further expand its illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.
The Foreign Ministers of France, Italy, and Germany, and the Secretaries of State of the United States and the United Kingdom opposed "Tel Aviv's" plans to expand its illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.
The United Nations Security Council expressed on Monday its "dismay" with the Israeli occupation government's plans to legalize settlements in occupied Palestinian territories. The UNSC issued a statement warning that these measures "impede peace".
The Israeli occupation was quick to criticize the declaration, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed it denied the "historic rights" of the Jewish people.
Furthermore, the occupation's premier's office said the statement "fails to mention the Palestinian terror attacks" that took place over the past few weeks in reference to the resistance operations that were conducted against illegal Israeli settlers in various places all over occupied Palestine.
The draft resolution that was being mulled, reportedly proposed by the United Arab Emirates, had called on the Israeli occupation to "immediately and completely cease" settlement activities in occupied Palestinian areas.
The draft, condemning "all attempts at annexation, including decisions and measures by Israel regarding settlements, including settlement outposts" had been dropped, AFP diplomatic sources said Monday, saying it would be replaced by the new statement issued by the president of the UNSC.
Furthermore, the draft resolution reiterated the demand that the occupation "immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory."
UN diplomats said that in order to avoid having to use its veto to block the resolution, Washington has encouraged Palestine and its allies in the UNSC to consider drafting "a more symbolic" joint statement condemning the Israeli cabinet's announcements.
The Biden administration is trying to avoid a diplomatic crisis with the UNSC over Israeli plans for settlement expansion, in light of a recent draft resolution that would demand "Israel" to "immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory.
According to multiple diplomats familiar with the situation, the US was successful in delaying the resolution proposed by the Palestinians and their supporters.
The Security Council would likely accept a weaker presidential statement similar to the resolution on Monday, according to the diplomats, rather than a resolution. That said, Presidential statements have become part of the council's record but are not legally binding because they require the support of all 15 council nations.