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US lawmakers call on Biden to veto PA-backed ‘anti-Israel’ resolution at UNSC

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and other senior legislators sent a letter to President Joe Biden urging that he strike down the “one-sided, biased” initiative.

U.S. President Joe Biden. Source: Twitter/@POTUS.
U.S. President Joe Biden. Source: Twitter/@POTUS.

Lawmakers have called on the Biden administration to veto a prospective Palestinian Authority-backed resolution at the United Nations Security Council to condemn Israeli housing plans in Judea and Samaria.

draft resolution obtained by the Associated Press demands an immediate halt to all Israeli building activities across the Green Line, and could be put to a vote as early as Monday.

In response, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) and Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) sent a letter to President Joe Biden calling on him to wield Washington’s veto to strike down the “biased, anti-Israel” initiative.

“As the U.N. Security Council once again moves to consider another one-sided, biased, anti-Israel resolution, it is imperative that the United States maintain its position that only direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians can yield progress. For this reason, we urge your administration to use the voice and vote of the United States to oppose and veto any anti-Israel action, including resolutions, at the U.N. Security Council,” said the letter.

U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho) similarly called on Biden to veto the move, saying the “resolution will not lead to peace and only furthers anti-Israel actions at the U.N.”

Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) noted that amid ongoing threats posed by China, Russia, Iran and North Korea, the United Nations was continuing its “anti-Israel obsession.” Accordingly, he said, Biden should not follow in the footsteps of the Obama administration by allowing the passage of a resolution denouncing Israeli construction in Judea and Samaria.

Hagerty was referring to UNSC Resolution 2334, which rejects the legality and legitimacy of any Israeli presence beyond the 1949 armistice lines. The Obama administration, at the tail end of its tenure, abstained during the December 2016 UNSC vote, thereby allowing its passage.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with both Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday, ahead of the anticipated showdown at the UNSC.

Blinken reaffirmed 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. He 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.”

In a joint announcement Tuesday, the foreign ministers of France, Germany and Italy, the British foreign secretary and the U.S. Secretary of State said that they were “deeply troubled” by Israel’s decision to advance “nearly 10,000 settlement units” and its intention “to begin a process to normalize nine outposts that were previously deemed illegal under Israeli law.”

Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich vowed earlier on Tuesday to promote unrestrained construction in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, despite opposition from the Biden administration.

“The real answer to [Palestinian] terror is to continue to build, to continue to set roots in the Land of Israel,” said Smotrich at a meeting of his Religious Zionism Party in Givat Harel, one of the nine outposts the Security Cabinet decided to legalize.

“The American response is entirely understandable,” he continued, but “the [Biden] administration knows that this government is committed to the settlements. There’s nothing wrong with two friends having disputes. They understand, and that’s the way things will continue.”

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