A draft United Nations Security Council resolution condemns Israel’s plan to annex the settlements it has built illegally on occupied Palestinian territories, in a rebuke of a US-devised “peace plan” that endorses the Israeli land theft of Palestinian-owned property.
The draft, which was reported on by Reuters on Tuesday, has been drawn up by Palestinians and circulated to council members by Tunisia and Indonesia.
The resolution “stresses the illegality of the annexation of any part” of the occupied Palestinian territories and “condemns recent statements calling for annexation by Israel” of these territories.
This past Tuesday, US President Donald Trump unveiled the outlines of his so-called “deal of the century,” which features Israel’s annexation of the settlement colonies that it has installed across the West Bank since occupying the Palestinian territory during the war of 1967.
More than 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built on the land since the military occupation began. Settlement colony construction significantly increased following the ‘Oslo Peace Accords’ of 1994.
The proposed US deal also envisions the recognition of Jerusalem (known in Arabic as al-Quds) as Israel’s “capital” — although Palestinians have, through the decades, held steadfast to the core demand of retaining Jerusalem as the capital of their sovereign Palestinian state.
All previous foreign-mediated agreements between Palestinians and Israelis, as well as repeated United Nations’ resolutions, have mandated Israel to withdraw behind the 1967 borders — known as the ‘Green Line’.
All Palestinian factions have unanimously rejected Trump’s plan. Palestine stopped recognizing the US as a mediator in the Middle East process when Trump, in December 2017, recognized occupied Jerusalem (al-Quds) as Israel’s “capital.”
Trump had announced the scheme — masterminded by his son-in-law and advisor Jared Kushner among other key pro-Israeli figures — some two years ago, but had withheld its details.
The draft “strongly regrets” that the Trump plan “breaches international law” and UN resolutions.
The deal also “undermines the inalienable rights and national aspirations of the Palestinian people, including [the rights] to self-determination and independence,” the draft says.
The resolution stresses the need for an acceleration of international and regional efforts to launch “credible negotiations on all final status issues in the Middle East peace process without exception.”
It is expected to be submitted to a vote at the Security Council on February 11, coinciding with a visit by Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority.
However, the U.S. is almost certain to cast its veto against this resolution, as is usually the case when resolutions supporting Palestinian rights are proposed.
The Palestinians, who have vowed to have their complaints heard at the UN, are next expected to take their objection to the UN General Assembly (UNGA), where the US cannot strike down any approved resolutions (but the resolutions also do not have any enforcement mechanisms).
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also reasserted the world body’s firm stance against any potential annexation of the Palestinian lands in an indirect attack on the US scheme.
“Our position is very clear. We are the guardians of the UN resolutions and international law in relation to the Palestinian question,” he told a wide-ranging news conference at the UN’s headquarters in New York on Tuesday. “We are totally committed to the two-state solution,” based on the 1967 borders.
Also on Tuesday, the European Union’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell rejected the annexation clause featured in Trump’s plan.
EU governments attach no legal status to the settlements built in the West Bank and Syria’s Golan Heights since Israel’s occupation of the lands, he said, repeating the European Union’s stance on the matter.