UN chief welcomes Security Council resolution on Israeli settlements as ‘significant step’

Resolution

23 December 2016 – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed the adoption of a Security Council resolution which states that the establishment of Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, have “no legal validity,” constitute a “flagrant violation” under international law and are a “major obstacle” to a two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace.

“The resolution is a significant step, demonstrating the Council’s much needed leadership and the international community’s collective efforts to reconfirm that the vision of two States is still achievable,” the UN chief’s spokesperson said in a statement.

“The Secretary-General takes this opportunity to encourage Israeli and Palestinian leaders to work with the international community to create a conducive environment for a return to meaningful negotiations,” the spokesperson added. “The United Nations stands ready to support all concerned parties in achieving this goal.”

Earlier this afternoon, the 15-member Council adopted the resolution by a vote of 14 in favour and with one abstention – the United States abstained from the vote. The resolution had been put forward by Malaysia, New Zealand, Senegal and Venezuela.

In the resolution, the Council reiterated its demand that Israel “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and that it fully respect all of its legal obligations in this regard.”

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