PA envoy: Israel must face consequences

PA envoy to the UN calls for Israel to face “consequences” for its construction of “Jewish settlements”.

Ben Ariel,

Riyad Mansour
Riyad Mansour

The Palestinian Authority (PA) envoy to the UN on Wednesday called for Israel to face “consequences” for its failure to heed international appeals to stop building “Jewish settlements on Palestinian land”, AFP reported.

The Ambassador, Riyad Mansour, made the comments as he spoke to the Security Council, accusing Israel of eroding prospects for a future Palestinian state and creating a "one-state reality" that was tantamount to apartheid.

"The global calls for cessation of Israeli settlement activities and crimes against the Palestinian people must be backed with serious, practical measures to compel Israeli compliance with the law," Mansour told a council debate on the Middle East.

"There must be consequences if Israel continues to violate international law," he added.

The quotes come as Arab governments are discussing a proposed draft Security Council resolution demanding a halt to Israeli construction in Judea and Samaria, even though a similar measure was vetoed by the United States in 2011.

Arab ministers are to meet later this month in Cairo to decide on whether to move forward with such a measure and present it to the council.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has several times initiated unilateral resolutions at the UN Security Council which seek to condemn Israel over its construction in Judea and Samaria and force a peace settlement on the Jewish state.

While senior Israeli officials and Western diplomats believe the PA is unlikely to push seriously for a Security Council resolution until after the November 8 U.S. election, there have been concerns that President Barack Obama, freed of re-election concerns, will advance such resolutions or break with American protocol and refrain from vetoing them.

Several weeks ago, a group of 88 senators urged Obama to maintain the long-standing U.S. policy of vetoing one-sided UN resolutions on the Israeli-Palestinian Arab issue.

Israeli Ambassador Danny Danon, meanwhile, spoke at the same UN debate on Wednesday as well, where he took a swipe at "calls for a one-sided resolution against Israel."

Danon slammed a resolution adopted this week at the UN cultural agency UNESCO condemning Israel's actions restricting access to the Al-Aqsa mosque in east Jerusalem, known as the Temple Mount to Jews.

"These attempts to cut us off from our homeland and our heritage will not succeed. We will remain in our land and in our capital of Jerusalem, forever," Danon said.