UN Denounces Israeli Settlement Expansion in West Bank

UN Denounces Israeli Settlement Expansion in West Bank

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) issued a statement denouncing Israeli settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank, deeming them a major obstacle to peace in the region.

While a separate resolution would have called for an immediate end to all settlement activity, it was thwarted by American negotiators, according to multiple outlets.

The Security Council expressed “deep concern and dismay” over the further expansion of settlement outposts on Monday, citing recently announced plans by the Israeli regime to authorize nine existing settlements in the West Bank.

The UNSC "strongly opposes all unilateral measures that impede peace," including the "construction and expansion of settlements, confiscation of Palestinians’ land, the ‘legalization’ of settlement outposts, demolition of Palestinians homes and displacement of Palestinian civilians," it said, adding that ongoing settlement activity is "dangerously imperiling the viability of the two-state solution."

The US has consistently supported the Israeli regime amid criticism of the settlements and other policies toward the Palestinians, frequently using its veto power at the UN to shut down resolutions seeking to condemn or curtail Israel’s actions.

A long line of humanitarian organizations, as well as the UN itself, have repeatedly denounced the settlements as violations of international law. The Geneva Conventions states that "occupying powers" must not "deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies." 

According to the Associated Press, Monday's UN statement was deliberately "watered down" following a pressure campaign by American diplomats, who reportedly led "high-stakes negotiations" to kill a legally binding Security Council resolution that would have required immediate action on the settlements. After heavily promoting the resolution, the Palestinian Authority ultimately "agreed to suspend its efforts" due to "US pressure and mediation," Axios reported.

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