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

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

Audio 'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
 Previous    
by: Ed from: Idaho, UDA
December 19, 2012 8:08 PM
While I'm certainly no lover of all things Islamic (look at the recent vaccination worker killings in Pakistan?) ...to me Israeli's are only hurting their own cause and reinforcing age old stereotypes of elitism and greed by refusing to look at the Palestinian side and continuing to expand these settlements.

by: JJM from: Seattle
December 19, 2012 7:52 PM
Looks like Israel needs to diversify... where and how many lobbyists it has. Then the community will have a much more favorable view of these actions...

by: NORM from: South América
December 19, 2012 7:46 PM
US, If I were you I would not be so confident that the rest of the World would support your motion. Either you are subrogated to the Israelian Goverment's(not the Jewish wishes) will to violate whatever is necessary to meet their expansionistic needs are to meet their/your short/long term goals in the the Region, your days are counted when your Faith/Future will be under their control.

by: Mohammad from: New York
December 19, 2012 7:40 PM
Although Israel is building new settlements, that is no reason to condemn Israel. They have a right to build in Israel until the PA and Hamas decide to hold peace negotiations.

by: wbilct from: USA
December 19, 2012 7:10 PM
"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."
This is called lip service. Israel has been building settlements for decades and nothing is done about it.

by: Seth_DeKooters from: Hartford, CT
December 19, 2012 6:50 PM
Americans need to remember that it is the United States government's loan guarantees that finance Jewish settlement and occupation in Palestine, grants of American weapons that protect the so-called "settlers" and monied Israeli lobbyists that establish American foreign policy. The rest of the world should argue loudly for REGIME CHANGE in Amerika.

by: FrankOtheMT from: ny
December 19, 2012 6:48 PM
"with the lone exception of the United States"

And how many people in the United States decide this? I for one stand with the rest of the world.

by: Dick Brandlon from: Seal Beach CA
December 19, 2012 6:48 PM
I don't see why the United States is alone in the world in refusing to recognize the Netayahu government's invasion and near-starvation of an entire people. The present Israeli government, like the Bush bunch in the U.S. is a clear aggressor and should be called on it.
In Response

by: Ben
December 22, 2012 9:34 AM
Recent "Munich agreement" with Pa as the fist step for Israel "legimite liquidation" was not condemned by America.
American hypocrisy in the "settlments" case is the result of Obama`s thrive to return Israel to the 1967 indefendable borders for her peril.
Comments page of 2
 Previous    

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs