Days of Palestine

Tuesday, January 31

UNSC resolution on Israeli settlement, victory or defeat?!

Days of Palestine -

By Motasem A Dalloul

The latest UN Security Council resolution about the illegal Israeli settlement in the Palestinian territories is not more than a trick.


Many of the Palestinians, Arabs and international supporters of the Palestinian cause applauded the UN Security Council’s Resolution 2,334 which affirmed that all of the Israeli settlement activities in the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem are illegal, constitute flagrant violation of international law and called for immediate halt of it.

The Resolution blamed Israel for the failure of the peace talks aiming to reach a solution for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and accused Israel of undermining the two-state solution throughout its continuous settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories. It also considered the Israeli officials, who take decisions in favour of settlement, subject to legal action in any of the UN member states.

There are many other positive issues in this Resolution, but this does not mean that we have to feel optimistic about it; however, it is almost unprecedented in the history of the UNSC. There are many issues in this Resolution needs deliberate thinking to know how it does not at all favour the Palestinians and their cause:

First: the Resolution was not issued under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter and this means that, how much it is positive, it is not really effective because, unless under Chapter 7, the UNSC would not enforce the parties in relation to the Resolution to implement it on the ground.

In fact, Israel has clearly rejected the Resolution and its Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who rebuked ambassadors of the states which supported the Resolution, described it as “shameful.” In addition, senior Israeli officials said that the Israeli government would soon approve at least 5,600 new settlement units.

Second: if this Resolution came under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, which ensures the use of air, sea and ground interference to forcefully implement it, it would not work with Israel because of two things:

  • The UNSC issued the Resolution number 1,860 in 2009, which called for immediate, durable and fully respected ceasefire, leading to the full withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza. It also called for the unimpeded provision and distribution throughout Gaza of humanitarian assistance, including of food, fuel and medical treatment.

Israeli rejected the Resolution and its Prime Minister Ehud Olmert described it “unworkable” and said that Israel would continue its war until it fulfils its goals. None of the UN member states take any action under Chapter 7 to stop the Israeli war and the invaded Palestinian territory, Gaza Strip, has been yet under a strict Israeli siege.

  • The Palestinians would never be able to benefit from the Resolution because if they took Israel or any of its officials to the ICC, as the PA President Mahmoud Abbas and many of his aides have already pledged, because the United States and possibly Russia would defer any case raised to the ICC that litigates Israel or any of its officials.

Third: this Resolution calls for both the Palestinian and Israeli sides to halt all forms of violence against civilians, acts of terror and provocation and destruction in compliance with the international law and through the existing security cooperation, as well as to condemn terrorism.

These issues are considered obstacles ahead of making this Resolution effective on the ground because, for Israel, killing Palestinian civilians is not an act of violence because it defines most of the Palestinians, even children, as militants and killing them is a form of self-defence. This has been very clear along its history, starting with the mass killings of villagers during what it called war of independence in the 1940s, ending with the latest consecutive three wars where it considered civilians legitimate targets.

Israel also considers all kinds of Palestinian resistance, which is guaranteed by the international law, as forms of terror; therefore, the Resolution paves the way ahead of legitimising Israeli disproportionate wars against the Palestinian resistance. Regarding the respect of the international law, Israel has been ignoring it since it was established and nothing happened to it except condemnation.

The existing security cooperation mentioned in the Resolution refers to the Palestinian Authority (PA) cooperation with Israel, which is decided in the Oslo accords. In this regard, the PA has committed countless of war crimes against its citizens since 1996 until today as there are currently tens of Palestinians inside its prisons subject to ill-treatment and torture. At least, ten citizens have died or been assassinated by the PA security services as part of the PA-Israeli security cooperation. This means that this Resolution encourages human rights abuses documented by international rights groups, including the Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.

Fourth: the Resolution urges 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 and other international initiatives.

What kind of UN resolutions which could oblige Israel to meet the Palestinian and international desire to solve the conflict with the Palestinians on the bases of the international law, while it has ignored about 90 UN Security Resolution between 1948 and 2009. Even this Resolution, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ignored it and pledged he would challenge it.