TEL AVIV – The U.S. on Wednesday blocked an attempt to call on the UN Security Council to issue a formal condemnation of Israel’s demolition of Palestinian homes constructed illegally near Jerusalem earlier this week, diplomats said.
The draft statement, initiated by Kuwait, Indonesia and South Africa, expressed “grave concern” and warned that the demolition “undermines the viability of the two-state solution and the prospect for just and lasting peace,” Reuters reported.
The U.S. refused to support the statement — which would have to be agreed by consensus from the 15-member body — so a revised draft was circulated. However, that too was rejected by the U.S.
Israel on Monday demolished 11 apartment buildings in an area adjacent to Jerusalem. Most of them were still in various phases of construction. Israel said they were built illegally and that they posed a security threat by blocking the security barrier that was constructed to prevent terrorists from entering the country.
UN officials called on Israel to halt the demolitions and said that 17 Palestinians already living in the buildings faced displacement.