UNITED NATIONS — The UN Security Council met behind closed doors on Wednesday to discuss Israel’s plan to build new homes in the West Bank, but did not take any action.
Council members heard a report from UN envoy Nickolay Mladenov (pictured) after Israel’s government approved an expansion of 2,500 homes. The announcement defies UN Resolution 2234, a resolution reiterating a demand that Israel cease construction in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem. The resolution passed in December after the United States refrained from using its veto power, abstaining from the vote and allowing the resolution to pass during the final weeks of former president Barack Obama’s administration.
As Breitbart Jerusalem’s Aaron Klein explains:
Some of the holiest sites in Judaism are located in eastern Jerusalem and the West Bank, including the Western Wall and Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City; the Cave of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs in Hebron, which was home to the oldest continuous Jewish community in the world until the Jews of Hebron were massacred and expelled; the Tomb of Rachel in Bethlehem; and Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus – biblical Shechem.
US representative did not take the floor to speak during the closed council meeting on Wednesday, diplomats said.
Swedish Ambassador Olof Skoog said that settlement building “needs to be condemned,” citing the recent resolution in his comments to reporters.
“We believe that any action that is taken in violation of international law or Security Council resolution 2234, regardless of who violates that resolution, needs to be condemned,” he said.
The Swedish ambassador holds the council presidency this month and said council members received an update of the situation but that no one pushed for immediate action during the talks, requested by Bolivia.
Incoming US Ambassador Nikki Haley, confirmed in her post this week, has yet to present her credentials to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.
Palestinian Authority Ambassador Riyad Mansour told reporters that the council must ensure that its own resolutions are upheld and that Israel must not be allowed to “get away with it” by building more settlements.
The Swedish ambassador said that despite taking no immediate action, “everyone in the council that spoke today is eager to make sure we find ways to minimize the effects of unilateral action.”
Haley told her Senate confirmation hearing that she supports President Donald Trump’s plan to move the US embassy to Jerusalem, an action Arab governments would consider provocative.
Guterres is due to follow up on the resolution in March by reporting to the council on Israeli settlement activity.