PA Envoy: Most Security Council Members will Condemn Israel
The Palestinian Authority believes that 14 out of 15 members of the United Nations Security Council will condemn Israel for its decision to promote the building of new homes in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem.
The PA's observer at the UN, Riyad Mansour, predicted on Tuesday that with the exception of the United States, all the other members will vote in favor of condemning Israel's plans to expand construction. The Security Council meeting is expected to place on Wednesday.
“Unfortunately, one powerful country with veto power does not want the Security Council to act accordingly,” Mansour said, referring to the U.S. “Therefore, the 14 other countries in the Security Council, in their own creative way, will make their position clear, collectively or separately, to the media outside the chamber on Wednesday.”
The U.S. has in the past used its veto power in the Security Council to invalidate anti-Israel resolutions, but it is unclear if it plans to do so this time around. On Tuesday, U.S. State Department Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland used strong language when condemning Israel's decision to build.
“We are deeply disappointed that Israel insists on continuing this pattern of provocative action,” Nuland told reporters. “These repeated announcements and plans of new construction run counter to the cause of peace.
"Israel’s leaders continually say that they support a path towards a two-state solution, yet these actions only put that goal further at risk,” she added.
Despite the strong remarks, however, Nuland said the United States did not believe pursuing condemnation of Israel at the UN Security Council would be “helpful” in resurrecting the stalled peace process.
On Monday, the Interior Ministry decided to go ahead with plans to build 1,500 new homes in Ramat Shlomo, though it reduced the number of homes to be built, which was originally set to 1,600. Ramat Shlomo, often wrongly described by anti-Israeli media as an "illegal settlement in east Jerusalem", is in fact located in northern Jerusalem, between Ramot with 60,000 Jewish residents and the Har Hotzvim Industrial Park. The area was empty hills before the reunification of the city in 1967.
On Tuesday it was reported that Israel's Housing Ministry is also planning to issue building tenders for projects in three large Israeli towns in Judea and Samaria.
The new tenders are part of a plan to allow construction of 3,000 new homes in Israeli communities in the region.