UN Security Council refuses to legitimize Israeli settlements

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — Fourteen of the 15 members of the UN Security Council, in their regular session on the Middle East, declared “illegal” Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.

The council’s announcement, with the exception of the United States, came in response to Washington’s view that Israeli settlements “do not violate international law.”

The announcement was made in two separate statements by the Council’s representatives: the first before the meeting, followed by British delegate Karen Pierce.

She said that the statement on behalf of five European countries members of the Security Council, namely: her country, in addition to France, Germany, Belgium and Poland.

The second statement was read out to reporters after the meeting by German Deputy Representative Eugene Schulz.

It was issued on behalf of the 10 elected States of the Council: Germany, Belgium (signatories to the statements), Côte d’Ivoire, the Dominican Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Indonesia, Peru, Poland, South Africa and Kuwait.

The two statements stressed that the settlement violates international law unequivocally, and that the illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.

With regard to the position of China and Russia, the Palestinian observer to the United Nations Riad Mansour, told reporters, that their position during the meeting, came in support of the relevant Security Council resolutions and international legitimacy.

For his part, the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East peace process, Nikolai Miladinov, during the session, expressed “regret” at the US declaration that it violates international law.

“There is a great danger to peace in the Middle East,” he warned.

On Monday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced at a news conference that his country no longer considers Israeli settlements in the occupied territories “contrary to international law.”

The international community overwhelmingly considers the settlements illegal, partly based on the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits the occupying power from transferring Israelis to the occupied territories.

A few days ago, the European Court of Justice ruled that EU member states should label “producer of settlements” rather than “made in Israel” on goods produced in settlements.

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