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UNSC: Israeli housing plans ‘imperiling’ two-state solution

The U.S. supported the Security Council's non-binding statement on Judea and Samaria.

The U.N. Security Council meets on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. Credit: Loey Felipe/U.N. Photo.
The U.N. Security Council meets on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. Credit: Loey Felipe/U.N. Photo.

The United Nations Security Council issued a non-binding presidential statement on Monday condemning Israeli housing plans in Judea and Samaria.

“The Security Council reiterates that continuing Israeli settlement activities are dangerously imperiling the viability of the two-state solution,” said the U.N. body in a statement supported by all 15 members, including the United States.

The development comes after the Palestinian Authority dropped a prospective formal resolution that would have demanded an immediate halt to all Israeli building activities across the Green Line.

In return, and as part of a broader informal U.S.-mediated deal with the Palestinians to reduce tensions ahead of Ramadan, which will begin on March 22 or 23, Israel reportedly agreed to postpone for several months the approval of additional construction in Judea and Samaria, delay planned demolitions of Palestinian homes built without permits in eastern Jerusalem, curb evictions of Palestinians in illegal housing, and reduce the number of IDF raids in Palestinian cities.

Israel will also significantly curb Jewish access to the Temple Mount during Ramadan, according to the Kan public broadcaster.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced earlier Monday that his government will not advance plans to legalize outposts in Judea and Samaria for the next few months, without specifying a precise timeframe. The move does not apply to the recent decision to authorize nine such communities made in response to a series of deadly terrorist attacks in Jerusalem.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with both Netanyahu and P.A. head Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday, reaffirming to both leaders Washington’s “commitment to a negotiated two-state solution and opposition to policies that endanger its viability,” according to the State Department.

Blinken also “underscored the urgent need for Israelis and Palestinians to take steps that restore calm, and [the Biden administration’s] strong opposition to unilateral measures that would further escalate tensions.”

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