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Inconsequential ritual: UNSC condemns Israel’s settlement policy

A regular but inconsequential ritual: On Monday the UN Security Council again condemned the Israeli settlement policy in the occupied West Bank. Specifically, this time it was about the subsequent approval of new Jewish settlements by the new Israeli government.

Published: February 24, 2023, 9:07 am

    New York

    “The Security Council reiterates that continued Israeli settlement activities dangerously jeopardize the viability of the two-state solution based on the 1967 lines,” said a statement unanimously adopted on Monday by the 15 members of the most influential UN body.

    Even the US ambassador to the UN criticized the February 12 retrospective approval of nine outposts of Jewish settlements in the West Bank. This exacerbated tensions and hurt trust. Other European and Arab states had previously sharply criticized the legalization of the settlements.

    In view of the international protests, the Israeli government signaled that it would give in shortly before the UN Security Council vote. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said no permission would be granted for further settlements in the coming months. Observers know from decades of experience that such pledges by Israeli governments are not worth much.

    In fact, the situation is likely to worsen rather than ease – the new cabinet under President Netanyahu, which has been in office since December, includes religious fundamentalists and ultra-nationalists who are calling for Israeli territory to be expanded into the West Bank.

    The two-state solution that has been sought for decades is becoming increasingly unrealistic due to the progressive urban sprawl.

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