News / Middle East

UN, EU, Russia Condemn Israeli Settlements

A bird flies over pieces of wood in an area near Jerusalem known as E1, where there are plans for construction of some 3,000 settler homes, December 6, 2012.A bird flies over pieces of wood in an area near Jerusalem known as E1, where there are plans for construction of some 3,000 settler homes, December 6, 2012.
x
A bird flies over pieces of wood in an area near Jerusalem known as E1, where there are plans for construction of some 3,000 settler homes, December 6, 2012.
A bird flies over pieces of wood in an area near Jerusalem known as E1, where there are plans for construction of some 3,000 settler homes, December 6, 2012.
Margaret Besheer
— All members of the U.N. Security Council, with the lone exception of the United States, have publicly condemned Israel’s recent settlement expansion activities and called for them to end. In a rare move, 14 of the council’s 15 members read public statements of their views instead of seeking formal action by the council, since that likely would have been opposed by the United States.

Normally the Security Council carries on its work around the horseshoe-shaped table inside its chamber. But on Wednesday, 14 council members took to the microphone outside the chamber to express their condemnation of Israel’s latest settlement expansion announcement.

Speaking on behalf of the council’s four European members, British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant told reporters the group strongly opposes Israel’s announced plans for more than 3,000 housing units in areas of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and urged Israel to rescind its decision.

“Israel’s announcements to accelerate the construction of settlements send a negative message and are undermining faith in its willingness to negotiate,” he said.

E1 settlements spark furor

Lyall Grant said the international community, and particularly the Security Council, must urgently provide for a credible framework for the resumption of direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians. Those talks have been stalled for more than a year.

The settlements, especially those in an area known as E1, threaten the contiguity of a potential Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its shared capital with Israel.

Eight of the council’s 15 members are part of the group of more than 120 countries known as the Non-Aligned Movement, or NAM.

Speaking on behalf of NAM, Indian Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri called Israel’s new settlement announcements “provocative” and noted they come in the wake of the November 29 U.N. General Assembly vote upgrading the Palestinian Authority’s U.N. status, giving it de facto recognition as a state.

“NAM stresses Israel’s settlement activities constitute grave breeches of international humanitarian law and violate numerous U.N. resolutions, including resolutions of the Security Council," said Puri. "This issue also remains the foremost obstacle to peace, impairing all the efforts to revive credible peace negotiations aimed at bringing an end to the Israeli occupation that began in 1967, and achieving a just, lasting and comprehensive peace.”

Russia, China join fray

In separate statements, both Russia and China expressed their condemnation and concern, with Russia urging ministers of the so-called Middle East Quartet to meet quickly.

The tripartite group known as IBSA - South Africa, India and Brazil - said in an additional statement that Israel's settlements not only must be stopped, but also dismantled.

On Tuesday, Washington criticized its ally Israel, with State Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland saying Israel's construction plans "run counter to the cause of peace.” But on Wednesday, the U.S. ambassador did not join her colleagues at U.N. headquarters.  

The U.N. secretary-general has condemned the Israeli settlement activity as a violation of international law and an obstacle to peace. He told reporters at his end-of-year news conference that the move is a “near fatal blow to a very fragile Middle East peace process.”  

Israeli envoy downplays move

Israel’s ambassador, Ron Prosor, dismissed Israeli settlement activity as not being among one of the urgent issues of the region, and downplayed the settlement announcements as part of a “bureaucratic process that can take years.”

The Palestinian Authority’s new enhanced observer state status at the U.N. will open the door to some international organizations that were previously off-limits. The would include the International Criminal Court, where Palestinians could ask prosecutors to investigate settlement construction and other Israeli actions on Palestinian land.

Palestinian Ambassador Riyad Mansour said that if Israel continues on the current path, which he said could destroy the two-state solution, the Palestinians would at least be able to resort to “all possible options” available to them, raising the possibility they will go to the court in The Hague.

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
    Next 
by: Theo from: Oregon
December 22, 2012 5:51 PM
"Why should the Arabs make peace? If I were an Arab leader I would never make terms with Israel. That is natural: we have taken their country. Sure, God promised it to us, but what does that matter to them? Our God is not theirs. We come from Israel, it's true, but two thousand years ago, and what is that to them? There has been antisemitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault? They only see one thing: we have come here and stolen their country. Why should they accept that? They may perhaps forget in one or two generations' time, but for the moment there is no chance." David Ben-Gurion, first prime minister of Israel

"For eight years now, they have sat in the refugee camps of Gaza and have watched how, before their very eyes, we have turned their lands and villages, where they and their forefathers previously dwelled, into our home." General Moshe Dayan, Israeli military hero - 1956


by: EthanP from: USA
December 20, 2012 1:42 PM
Interesting how thousands are slaughtered around the world and all of the worlds condemnation is reserved for Israels' settlement policy. I'm sure you've noticed. You're not stupid. I wonder why that is? Actually, we do know, don't we?


by: Hoble Scotch
December 20, 2012 12:34 AM
Ok, so Israeli settlements are bad....but...

Syrian dictators are aok - Russia
I enjoy oppressive social policies - China
Millions of my citizens don't even have clean water - India
We certainly don't have a city run by drug cartels(Rio) - Brazil
We are the result of imperialism - S. Africa

"And why behold you the speck that is in your brother's eye, but consider not the beam that is in your own eye?"


by: LeRoy Padmore from: Jersey City
December 19, 2012 11:21 PM
Why are the UN,EU and Russia condemning Israel?it is Israel land.not the Arab people land.Israel has the to that land.


by: Scott from: USA
December 19, 2012 11:18 PM
The United States should also Join the rest of the world, Israel has gone to far and crossed the red line, They should be punished for this action as they do not seek Peace, We should recall our diplomats and put a emergency halt to all foreign aid going to Israel, maybe this will make them wake up the world dose not owe Israel anything any longer.

In Response

by: EthanP from: USA
December 20, 2012 1:47 PM
Of course Scott, the Palestinians and other Arabs have "constantly" sought peace. We all know Jews deserved those pogroms in the 1920s & 1930s. It was Israel that invaded 6 Arab nations in 1947. Get real and wake up!


by: melvin bretthauer from: las vegas,nv
December 19, 2012 9:04 PM
we borrow money from china and give it to israel. now the world comdemned israel who is in charge of the us? the shadow government of israel

In Response

by: EthanP from: USA
December 20, 2012 1:50 PM
Melvin; I have some suggested reading for you.
"Protocols of the Elders of Zion". Although you sound like you've already read it. And FYI: It's a work of fiction!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


by: YaValioCacaWates from: USA
December 19, 2012 8:41 PM
Who really cares what Russia, China, and the EU thinks about the Israeli building settlements for their citizens. I say Israel needs to build a lot more. They condemn settlements, but recommend nuclear bombs in Iran. Go figure? Russia, China, and the EU needs to be concerned about all their homeless citizens and leave Israel alone.


by: James from: Sumter, SC
December 19, 2012 8:36 PM
When will the U.S. government realize that there is absolutely no benefit to aligning itself with Israel and that Israel is as much a terrorist nation as those around it? I suspect this has more to do with the supposed origins of the Bible than anything else...in other words, if it allows Israel to fail, part of its identity goes along with it...rubbish!


by: OldNassau from: Florida, USA
December 19, 2012 8:35 PM
What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander: The USA condemns Russia for its support of Syria; Russia condemns the US for its unqualified of Israel.


by: MACDONALD BANK from: WASHINGTON, D.C.
December 19, 2012 8:21 PM
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R., Va.) seems intent on blocking Obama -- from paying the bills -- Republicans left behind … fighting Israel’s ongoing holy wars. As long as NATO will provide soldiers and the U.S. provides the money … Israel pushes this arrogant “better than thou bulls#@&!” People don’t accept this chosen crap any longer!
www.HolyFaux.com

Comments page of 2
    Next 

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid