UN: Israel ignores Security Council demand to halt settlement construction

UN envoy to the Middle East Nikolai Mladenov told the UN Security Council on Friday that Israel has ignored a request by the council to stop settlement building and some Palestinian groups continue to incite violence against Jews.

This is Mladenov’s first report on the implementation of the resolution passed on December 23, approved by the Council with 14 votes in favor and the United States abstaining. US President-elect Donald Trump and Israel pressed Washington to use the veto.

“The resolution calls on Israel to take steps” to stop all settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem, “Mladenov told the council,” such steps were not taken during the reporting period. ”

For decades, Israel has been pursuing a policy of building Jewish settlements on land it occupied in the 1967 Middle East war. Most countries see settlement activity as illegal and an obstacle to peace. Israel does not see this, and the Palestinians want an independent state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem.

“There have been many developments in the past three months that could further sever the link between the future Palestinian state lands and accelerate the fragmentation of the West Bank,” Mladenov said of the settlements, adding that these developments were “one of the main obstacles to peace.”

Mladenov also said the increased rocket fire from Gaza into Israel was “a worrying development,” adding that it was regrettable that Palestinian Authority officials had not condemned attacks against Israelis.

“The inciting of Hamas extremists and some Palestinian groups against violence against Jews is unacceptable and undermines confidence and prospects for peace,” he said.