Days of Palestine

Saturday, February 4

UN envoy: ‘Israeli did not respect its legal obligations’

Days of Palestine -

UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov said on Monday that Israeli “did not respect its legal obligations” in Palestinian territories.

In his briefing to the UN Security Council, Mladenov said: “I will once again focus on developments on the ground in accordance with the provisions of the resolution, including on regional and international efforts to advance the peace process.”

He started: “Israel did not cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and fully respect all of its legal obligations in this regard as called for by the resolution 2,334.

“Since 20 June, Israel’s illegal settlement activities have continued at a high rate, a consistent pattern over the course of this year.

“Activity during this period was concentrated primarily in occupied East Jerusalem, where plans were advanced for over 2,300 housing units in July, 30 per cent more than for the whole of 2016.

“This includes plans for some 1,600 units expanding a ring of settlements north of East Jerusalem as well as in the Palestinian neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, adjacent to the Old City.

“While no plans were advanced in Area C during the reporting period, in early September construction resumed on the new settlement of Amihai, in the heart of the West Bank.”

He continued: “The reporting period witnessed the eviction of a Palestinian family in Sheikh Jarrah, residents for over fifty years, after a protracted legal battle.

“The building is located in a section of the neighborhood in which several settlement plans were among those promoted in July. Eviction proceedings are under way for some 180 Palestinian families in East Jerusalem, over 60 of whom reside in Sheikh Jarrah.”

Mladenov added: “Meanwhile, according to OCHA, the destruction of Palestinian-owned property across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, continued, albeit at a significantly lower rate.

“Overall since the beginning of 2017, 344 structures have been demolished, a third of them in East Jerusalem, displacing some 500 people.”

In addition, he said: “In Area C of the occupied West Bank in August, three educational facilities, serving 175 children, were demolished or confiscated, citing the lack of building permits, which are virtually impossible for Palestinians to obtain.

“On 25 July, in the city of Hebron, 15 Israeli families illegally occupied the Abu Rajab/Machpelah House despite ongoing legal proceedings over its ownership.

“On 27 August, the Israeli Government notified the High Court of Justice that it would evict the settlers within one week, however this process has been put on hold by a temporary injunction issued by the Court.

“In other related developments, on 26 July an amendment to the “Basic Law: Jerusalem the Capital of Israel” passed a first reading in the Knesset. If approved, this law would further cement Israeli control over East Jerusalem.

“On 17 August, the High Court of Justice issued a temporary injunction formally postponing application of the so-called ‘“Regularisation law.’”

The UN envoy spoke about many several Israeli violations against the Palestinians, including the extrajudicial killing of civilians and crackdown on freedom of speech and expression, as well as the harsh consequences of the 11-year-olid Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip.