Friday, December 23, 2016

Four Security Council Members Demand Vote on Illegal Israeli Settlements

Four Security Council Members Demand Vote on Illegal Israeli Settlements

by Stephen Lendman

A draft SC resolution introduced by Egypt, stating settlements have “no legal validity and constitute a flagrant violation under international law,” was scheduled for a Thursday vote.

Heavy Netanyahu and Trump pressure got it postponed indefinitely, an effort to kill it altogether.

SC members New Zealand, Malaysia, Senegal and Venezuela objected, saying if Egypt didn’t clarify its position by midnight, allowing a vote to proceed, they reserved the right to move ahead on their own.

In a joint statement, they said “(i)n the event that Egypt decides that it cannot proceed to call for vote on 23 December or does not provide a response by the deadline, those delegations reserve the right to table the draft…and proceed to put it to vote ASAP.”

At yearend, Senegal alone will remain a SC member, terms of Malaysia, New Zealand and Venezuela expiring.

Reportedly Trump spoke to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi by phone Thursday night, inviting him to Washington and saying he needs time to formulate his administration’s policy on Israel/Palestine.

An unnamed Israeli cabinet minister said Obama’s veto is unlikely if the resolution is put to a vote, adding “(t)he danger has not yet passed.”

“This is still live. Everything is open and another country could put forward an identical resolution in the upcoming day. The goal is to pressure Obama through different channels to invoke the veto while also securing the vote being delayed as much as possible until after the January 20  - when Trump enters the White House.”

A Friday meeting is planned for further discussion, perhaps continuing into next week. Palestinian UN envoy Jamal al-Shobaki said Egypt asked for more time.

Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu-Zeid indicated an “appropriate” decision will be made, with no further elaboration. Reuters said Cairo acted “to avoid alienating Trump.”

An unnamed Western diplomat said “(t)here was a window of opportunity. Whether (it’s) still there is really not clear.”

If a vote isn’t taken before yearend, it may not happen at all. Once Trump is in office, he’ll veto any SC resolutions hostile to Israeli interests, ignoring Palestinian rights entirely.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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