Danon: Middle East envoy's remarks 'disconnected from reality'

Israel's UN Ambassador blasts remarks by the UN's Middle East Envoy who said “Israeli settlement expansion” harmed peace.

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Elad Benari,

Danny Danon
Danny Danon
Hezki Baruch

Israel's UN Ambassador Danny Danon on Monday night sharply criticized the remarks by the UN's Middle East Envoy Nickolay Mladenov, who earlier blasted “Israeli settlement expansion” while speaking before the UN Security Council.

“Complete disconnection from the facts on the ground,” Danon said, adding, "Israel will continue to build in its eternal capital of Jerusalem, just as the nations of the world will continue to build in their capitals without asking the permission of the United Nations.”

“The UN should concentrate on the main obstacle to a solution in the region, which is the Palestinian refusal to condemn terrorism and return to the negotiating table,” the Ambassador continued.

Danon added that Mladenov's statements are a “prize to the Palestinians,” in fact distance the chances of reaching a solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs and illustrate the hypocrisy of the UN regarding Israel.

Mladenov had said in his remarks that “Israeli settlement expansion” has surged in the two months since the diplomatic Quartet called to end it.

The Quartet report, released in July, called on Israel to stop its construction in Judea and Samaria, but also criticized the Palestinian Authority (PA) for its incitement to terrorism against Israelis.

"Its recommendations continue to be ignored, including by a surge in Israeli settlement-related announcements and continuing demolitions," Mladenov charged.

The Prime Minister’s Office rejected Mladenov’s assertions in a statement released Monday evening.

“The remarks of the UN envoy to the Security Council today distort history and international law and only distance peace,” it said.

“Jews have lived in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria for thousands of years and their presence there is not an obstacle to peace. The obstacle to peace is the attempt to incessantly deny the relationship of Jews to their historical land and the stubborn refusal to acknowledge that they are not foreigners there,” continued the statement.

“The claim that Jewish construction in Jerusalem is illegal is as absurd as the claim that American construction in Washington or French construction in Paris are illegal. The Palestinian demand for ethnic cleansing of Jews in its future state is horrifying, and the UN should be condemning it instead of adopting it.”