The United Nations Security Council adopted a Presidential Statement opposing unilateral measures that obstruct prospects for a two-state solution in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, with the support of all Council members. This important decision was facilitated by the United Arab Emirates, which currently serves as an elected member of the Council.
“The UAE is grateful to Council Members for their constructive approach towards the successful adoption of today’s Presidential Statement, the first decision on this file in more than six years. It is especially important that the Council is united and unequivocal in affirming that continued Israeli settlement activity dangerously imperils the two-state solution,” said Her Excellency Ambassador Lana Nusseibeh, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for Political Affairs and Permanent Representative of the UAE to the UN. “After a year in which escalating provocations, tension, and violence further eroded the prospects of a two-state solution, the Council’s reiteration of its ‘unwavering commitment’ to the vision of an independent Palestine living side by side with Israel in peace is absolutely necessary.”
The Presidential Statement condemned all acts of violence against civilians and called on all parties to condemn acts of terrorism, refrain from incitement to violence, and pursue accountability for all acts of violence targeting civilians. Notably, in expressing its deep concern at instances of discrimination, incitement, and hate speech, the Council referred, for the first time, to Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, and Christianophobia.
The Council also expressed deep concern and dismay with Israel’s 12 February announcement that it will “legalize” nine settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and authorize the construction of 10,000 housing units there.
Furthermore, the Presidential Statement reiterated that continuing Israeli settlement activities dangerously imperil the viability of the two-state solution based on 1967 lines. It also emphasized the importance of de-escalation and avoiding provocative actions.
The Council stressed that both the Israeli and Palestinian people are entitled to equal measures of freedom, security, prosperity, justice, and dignity.
The Council also emphasized the special role of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan with respect to the holy sites in Jerusalem and called for upholding the historic and legal status quo at the holy sites in Jerusalem.
The UAE began facilitating the process of formulating a Council response to Israeli settlement activity last week and supported the intense diplomatic engagement undertaken by the United States to de-escalate the situation and ensure that the Council would speak on this important issue with a united voice.