It’s a song breaking through this fight…
UN Security Council Resolution 2334–“Condemning all measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967…”
…adopted on December 23, 2016 by a vote of 14-0 with 1 abstention.
Israeli settlements are illegal
Voting in Favor: Russia, China, Malaysia, Venezuela, New Zealand, Senegal, Spain, Uruguay, France, Angola, Egypt, Japan, UK, Ukraine
Text of the Resolution:
The Security Council,
Reaffirming its relevant resolutions, including resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973), 446 (1979), 452 (1979), 465 (1980), 476 (1980), 478 (1980), 1397 (2002), 1515 (2003), and 1850 (2008),
Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and reaffirming, inter alia, the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force,
Reaffirming the obligation of Israel, the occupying Power, to abide scrupulously by its legal obligations and responsibilities under the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, and recalling the advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice,
Condemning all measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, including, inter alia, the construction and expansion of settlements, transfer of Israeli settlers, confiscation of land, demolition of homes and displacement of Palestinian civilians, in violation of international humanitarian law and relevant resolutions,
Expressing grave concern that continuing Israeli settlement activities are dangerously imperilling the viability of the two-State solution based on the 1967 lines,
Recalling the obligation under the Quartet Roadmap, endorsed by its resolution 1515 (2003), for a freeze by Israel of all settlement activity, including “natural growth”, and the dismantlement of all settlement outposts erected since March 2001,
Recalling also the obligation under the Quartet roadmap for the Palestinian Authority Security Forces to maintain effective operations aimed at confronting all those engaged in terror and dismantling terrorist capabilities, including the confiscation of illegal weapons,
Condemning all acts of violence against civilians, including acts of terror, as well as all acts of provocation, incitement and destruction,
Reiterating its vision of a region where two democratic States, Israel and Palestine, live side by side in peace within secure and recognized borders,
Stressing that the status quo is not sustainable and that significant steps, consistent with the transition contemplated by prior agreements, are urgently needed in order to (i) stabilize the situation and to reverse negative trends on the ground, which are steadily eroding the two-State solution and entrenching a one-State reality, and (ii) to create the conditions for successful final status negotiations and for advancing the two-State solution through those negotiations and on the ground,
1. Reaffirms that the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace;
2. Reiterates 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;
3. Underlines that it will not recognize any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations;
4. Stresses that the cessation of all Israeli settlement activities is essential for salvaging the two-State solution, and calls for affirmative steps to be taken immediately to reverse the negative trends on the ground that are imperilling the two-State solution;
5. Calls upon all States, bearing in mind paragraph 1 of this resolution, to distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967;
6. Calls for immediate steps to prevent all acts of violence against civilians, including acts of terror, as well as all acts of provocation and destruction, calls for accountability in this regard, and calls for compliance with obligations under international law for the strengthening of ongoing efforts to combat terrorism, including through existing security coordination, and to clearly condemn all acts of terrorism;
7. Calls upon both parties to act on the basis of international law, including international humanitarian law, and their previous agreements and obligations, to observe calm and restraint, and to refrain from provocative actions, incitement and inflammatory rhetoric, with the aim, inter alia, of de-escalating the situation on the ground, rebuilding trust and confidence, demonstrating through policies and actions a genuine commitment to the two-State solution, and creating the conditions necessary for promoting peace;
8. Calls upon all parties to continue, in the interest of the promotion of peace and security, to exert collective efforts to launch credible negotiations on all final status issues in the Middle East peace process and within the time frame specified by the Quartet in its statement of 21 September 2010;
9. Urges in this regard the intensification and acceleration of international and regional diplomatic efforts and support aimed at achieving, without delay a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East on the basis of the relevant United Nations resolutions, the Madrid terms of reference, including the principle of land for peace, the Arab Peace Initiative and the Quartet Roadmap and an end to the Israeli occupation that began in 1967; and underscores in this regard the importance of the ongoing efforts to advance the Arab Peace Initiative, the initiative of France for the convening of an international peace conference, the recent efforts of the Quartet, as well as the efforts of Egypt and the Russian Federation;
10. Confirms its determination to support the parties throughout the negotiations and in the implementation of an agreement;
11. Reaffirms its determination to examine practical ways and means to secure the full implementation of its relevant resolutions;
12. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Council every three months on the implementation of the provisions of the present resolution;
13. Decides to remain seized of the matter.
From Ma’an News:
Palestine Victorious Over UNSC Resolution, Israel Left ‘Abandoned’ by US
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Palestinian leadership and members of the international community were victorious after the United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution calling for an end to illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory and reiterated that their existence is illegal under international law.
After days of diplomatic turmoil, the US shocked and outraged Israel by refusing to veto the resolution — by abstaining from the vote, US President Barack Obama allowed resolution 2334 to pass Friday night at the UNSC.
Palestine’s envoy to the United Nations Riyad Mansour noted that the resolution came after years of allowing Israel to “entrench its occupation and a one-state reality with absolute impunity, at times even being rewarded for its violations and intransigence”
“Against this backdrop,” Mansour said, “one Council resolution in nearly eight years is not disproportionate; it is shameful. But today’s vote rectifies this record and sets us on a new course.”
Meanwhile, Secretary General of the PLO Saeb Erekat described the event to Reuters news agency as “a day of victory for international law, a victory for civilized language and negotiation and a total rejection of extremist forces in Israel.”
“The international community has told the people of Israel that the way to security and peace is not going to be done through occupation … but rather through peace, ending the occupation and establishing a Palestinian state to live side by side with the state of Israel on the 1967 line,” Erekat said.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas reportedly called the resolution “a slap in the face to Israeli policy” and an “absolute international condemnation to settlements and unanimous support for a two-state solution.”
He said in a statement earlier marking the occasion of Christmas that “Despite the Israeli occupation, our presence in our homeland and the preservation of our cultural and national heritage are the most important form of resistance in the face of the darkness of a foreign colonialist occupying power.”
Spokesperson for the Hamas movement Fawzi Narhoum said that Hamas applauded the countries who “rejected the Israeli occupation’s aggressive settlement policies against the Palestinian people.”
“We ask for more such supportive positions seeking to bring justice to the Palestinian cause and end occupation.”
Leftist Palestinian faction the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) also released a statement Friday welcoming the Security Council resolution, but warned that Israel and its allies would likely try to make the resolution null and void.
“Israel and its allies,” the statement said, “will try to impede implementation of the resolution or call attention to parts of the resolution’s content related to terrorism, violence, and incitement, which can be harmful to the Palestinians.”
Human rights organization Amnesty International called the decision to “finally” pass such a resolution a “welcome step.”
“This is the first time in almost four decades that such a resolution has been passed. During this time, settlements not only continued to be built, but at an accelerated pace,” Sherine Tadros, Head of Amnesty International’s UN Office in New York wrote in a statment, noting that resolution not only demands a halt to settlement building but also recognizes their illegality.
“Amnesty International has campaigned for many years on this issue. Israel’s settlement policy is inherently discriminatory and has resulted in grave human rights violations including destruction of homes, forced evictions, unlawful killings, arbitrary detentions, and collective punishment.”
Meanwhile, Israeli officials and their allies expressed shock and outrage over the resolution, accusing the Obama administration of colluding with Palestine while betraying a decades-long relationship of supporting Israeli policies.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel “would not abide by the terms” of the “shameful anti-Israel resolution.”
Netanyahu also reportedly instructed Israel’s ambassadors in New Zealand and Senegal — two states that supported the resolution — to return to Israel for consultations. He also ordered the cancellation of a planned visit to Israel by Senegal’s foreign minister and the cancellation of all aid programs to Senegal, according to Israeli news site Ynet.
Israeli Minister Yuval Steinitz said that the United States had “abandoned” Israel by abstaining from the vote, adding that “the heart aches that after eight years of friendship… and cooperation with Obama, this is his final chord” in the departing Obama administration.
Ynet quoted an anonymous Israeli official as saying that Obama and US Secretary of State John Kerry “secretly cooked up” the “extreme anti-Israeli resolution behind Israel’s back.”
He said the resolution would be a “tailwind for terror and boycotts,” calling the move “shameful” and “an abandonment of Israel which breaks decades of US policy of protecting Israel at the UN.”
Israel’s ambassador to the UN Danny Danon for his part insisted that “Neither the Security Council nor UNESCO will rewrite history and to sever the link between the people of Israel and the land of Israel,” warning that “Efforts to attack Israel” would not help the peace process.
A number of US officials also reacted with dismay to the decision, with President-elect Donald Trump saying ominously in a Tweet, “Things will be different after Jan. 20th.”
Netanyahu had said after the resolution’s passage that he looked forward to working with Trump and the pro-Israeli members of the US Congress to reverse the damages of the “absurd” decision.
US Speaker of the House Paul Ryan calling the abstention vote by the US “absolutely shameful,” while Republican Senator John McCain said the move made the US “complicit in this outrageous attack” against Israel.
Leading up to the vote, US Republican Senator Lindsey Graham who oversees the Senate subcommittee that controls United States’ UN funding, had threatened to cut funding for the UN and any nation that backed the measure.
However, critics have pointed out that dozens of past UN resolutions condemning Israeli policies in the occupied territory have not been supported by the political will necessary to enforce such measures.
Many expressed worry that the Friday’s resolution would also be merely symbolic — noting in particular the resolution did not authorize any form of sanctions to compel Israel to respect international law.
Despite the US government, particularly under Barack Obama, having routinely condemned Israel’s settlement expansions, US officials have yet to take any concrete actions to end settlement building and instead inadvertently encouraged the enterprise through consistent inaction over Israel’s violation of international law and continued support of the Israeli government through inflated military aid packages.
Amnesty International continued in their statement, saying that going forward, the UNSC “must now ensure this resolution is respected. Indeed, it should go further and demand that the state of Israel not only fulfil its legal obligation to halt settlement-building, but also dismantle its settlements and relocate its settlers outside Occupied Palestinian Territories. This is the only way to a just and durable peace.”