With Obama’s actions at the UNSC concluding Jewish growth in West Bank as illegal, US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley has branded the resolution a “terrible mistake” that distracts from the tyranny and abuse Gazans are living under by a brutal Hamas government.
By i24NEWS – AFP
At a meeting of the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday focusing on developments in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said there must be “consequences” for supporting the Gaza-based Hamas terrorist group.
At the same meeting, the UN’s envoy for the Middle East Nickolay Mladenov presented his second report on Israel’s settlement activities since the adoption of a UN resolution in December demanding a halt to the Jewish outposts in Palestinian territory.
Haley said that the UN must “pressure Hamas to end its tyranny over the people of Gaza,” accusing the Islamist group of “squandering” its control over the Palestinian enclave.
“Israel did not cause the problems in Gaza, no single Israeli settler has lived in Gaza for ten years. We all would like to see Palestinians in Gaza receive the aid they need. But the responsibility rests squarely with the one group that actually controls Gaza — Hamas,” she said.
“We should name Hamas as the group responsible when rockets are fired from Gaza, and designate it as a terror organization in a resolution with consequences for anyone who supports it,” she urged, slamming the group for using UN schools for storing weapons and digging underground tunnel networks.
“This is the way Hamas does business. Hamas hides military infrastructure in and around hospitals. It plots and plans to attack civilians while using civilian buildings as cover,” she said.
“Hamas chooses to devote its resources to terrorism instead of governing and reaching peace,” she said.
Mladenov, meanwhile, told the Security Council that Israel has announced a substantial increase in West Bank settlements in the past three months and that despite the resolution, passed with 14 votes in favor and a rare abstention by the US, “no such steps have been taken” to end settlements.
“Since March 24, there has been substantial increase in settlement-related announcements as compared with the previous reporting period,” he said.
Israel is moving forward with plans for nearly 4,000 housing units and has issued 2,000 tenders for settlement construction in the occupied West Bank and east Jerusalem, he added.
The United Nations considers all settlements to be illegal and has raised alarm that the construction on land earmarked for a future Palestinian state will kill off the two-state solution to end the Middle East conflict.
Haley has branded the resolution a “terrible mistake” after the previous US administration refrained from using its veto to block the measure.
The envoy’s report to the council came on the same day as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the start of work on the Amichai settlement in the northern West Bank.
Mladenov quoted Netanyahu as saying that “there will never be a government that is more pro-settlement than our government.”
President Donald Trump’s special representative Jason Greenblatt arrived in Israel for meetings on relaunching Israeli-Palestinian peace talks that collapsed in 2014.
Staff with AFP
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