India, 13 UNSC members slam Israel housing plan

India was joined by all members of the 15-nation UN Security Council except the US to condemn Israel’s announcement of new construction activity in Palestinian territories and demand immediate dismantling of the “illegal” settlements.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also expressed his deep concern by the heightened settlement activity in West Bank, saying the move by Israel “gravely threatens efforts to establish a viable Palestinian state.”

India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri, in his capacity as Coordinator of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) caucus of the Security Council, told reporters here after a UNSC briefing on the situation in the  West Asia that there was an attempt in the Council to bring a resolution on the issue.

“It (resolution) did not see the light of the day” even though it had 14 votes in favour but “one permanent member” was against it,” Puri said without naming the US, which has veto power in the Council.

Making a statement on behalf of NAM, Puri said the grouping “condemns the recent
provocative announcements by Israel, the occupying Power” to construct 3,000 settlement units on confiscated Palestinian land in an area east of occupied Jerusalem.

The new construction activity, widely known as the ‘E-1’ plan is in addition to the announcement by Israel that another 3,600 settlement units would be constructed in occupied territories.

“NAM rejects these illegal actions, which have deliberately intensified after the international community’s reaffirmation of its support for the two-State solution with the General Assembly’s adoption of resolution which, accorded to Palestine the status of nonmember observer State in the United Nations,” Puri said.

“NAM calls on Israel to immediately cease its settlement activities and to abide by all of its legal obligations,” he said.

NAM also stressed that Israel’s settlement activities constitute grave breaches of international humanitarian law.

Comments (+)