AMMAN: The permanent representative of the state of Palestine at the UN, Riyad Mansour, told Arab News on Monday that his team has been working for some time with members of the UN Security Council, and that the council’s latest statement about the actions of Israeli authorities had been made from a position of responsibility.
His comments came as the council issued a formal statement denouncing Israeli plans to expand settlements on occupied Palestinian territory. It is the first time in six years that the US, a permanent member of the Security Council with the power of veto, has allowed the body to adopt such a clear stance against Israel.
The UAE, which holds the presidency of the Security Council this month, worked closely with the Palestinian delegation in drafting the text of a resolution and the presidential statement.
“We agreed that a strong presidential statement that has the approval of the US delegation to the Security Council, that will have the same text as a resolution, will keep the international community, including Americans, on our side and will help us to keep Israel in isolation,” said Mansour.
As a result of its diplomatic efforts, the Palestinian delegation has received assurances from the US that Israel has suspended its settlement activities, along with demolitions and incursions into major Palestinian cities, and will transfer funds to the Palestinian government from the taxes Israel collects on its behalf.
The agreement to a statement avoided the prospect of the US vetoing a strong resolution, submitted by the UAE, that was formulated in cooperation with the Palestinian delegation.
In 2016, under the Obama/Biden administration, the US refrained from vetoing Resolution 1344, which opposed Israeli settlement activities but without any provisions for a mechanism that would allow punitive sanctions to be imposed.
Israeli authorities have in the past ignored UN Security Council resolutions, claiming that the organization is biased against Israel.