Israel’s UN envoy: We expect US to veto anti-settlement motion

Danny Danon says newly revived draft resolution to be brought to Security Council for vote has the sole purpose of hurting Israel

Israel's UN Ambassador Danny Danon at an anti-BDS conference held at the UN headquarters in New York on November 17, 2016. (Harel Rintzler)
Israel's UN Ambassador Danny Danon at an anti-BDS conference held at the UN headquarters in New York on November 17, 2016. (Harel Rintzler)

As news broke that the UN Security Council was likely to vote Friday on an anti-settlement resolution despite sponsor Egypt pulling its support, Israel’s envoy to the UN Danny Danon urged Washington to veto any such motion.

“This is an anti-Israeli resolution spearheaded by Palestinians, the entire purpose of which is to hurt Israel,” Danon said in a statement. “We call on the US to stand by us and expect our greatest ally to stick to its long-standing position and to veto the decision.

“We say again to the members of the Security Council: No solution will be advanced by UN resolutions, but only through direct negotiations,” he added.

Four members of the Security Council — New Zealand, Malaysia, Senegal and Venezuela — said they would bring the original Egyptian draft resolution to a vote Friday after Cairo, under pressure from US President-elect Donald Trump, withdrew the measure.

“Most likely, we will have a vote soon,” French Ambassador Francois Delattre told reporters.

“The key goal that we have here is to preserve and reaffirm the two-state solution,” said Delattre. “The text that we have does not exclusively focus on settlements. It also condemns the violence and terrorism. It also calls to prevent all incitement from the Palestinian side so this is a balanced text.”

Diplomats said the same draft resolution would be submitted to a vote, at the request of the four countries.

The draft resolution demands that “Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.”

It states that Israeli settlements have “no legal validity” and are “dangerously imperiling the viability of the two-state solution” that would see an independent Palestine co-exist alongside Israel.

The four member states had warned earlier that they would push ahead with the resolution if Cairo stood by its decision to delay.

“In the event that Egypt decides that it cannot proceed to call for vote on 23 December or does not provide a response by the deadline, those delegations reserve the right to table the draft … and proceed to put it to vote ASAP,” wrote New Zealand, Venezuela, Malaysia and Senegal in a note they presented to Egyptian officials, according to Reuters.

Egypt had said earlier its president received a call from Trump in which they both agreed to give the incoming US administration a chance to try and resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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