Israel seems very perturbed after United Nations Security Council’s adoption of resolution which termed establishment of Israeli settlements in Palestine as illegal. Resolution further states that Israel’s blatant violation of international law is a big hurdle to achieve peace in the region. Israel Foreign Ministry on Sunday summoned at least ten envoys of the 14 countries that have embassies in the country and have voted for the resolution. Ambassadors of Britain, China, Russia, France, Egypt, Japan, Uruguay, Spain, Ukraine and New Zealand were summoned. Despite the fact that Sunday is not a regular day in most countries and it was Christmas Day, summoning envoys of other countries reflects that Israel is very annoyed over the development. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Natanyahu also summoned US ambassador to Israel to discuss US abstention stance in a United Nations Security Council’s (UNSC) resolution demanding an end to Israeli settlement buildings in Palestine.
Israel despite concerns of many countries has continued to pursue policy of constructing settlements on land that was captured by it in 1967 during war with Arab neighbours. While Palestine seeks control of areas of West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem and often raises voice against Israeli settlements in these areas. Not only Palestine but many other countries view activity of Israel to construct settlements as illegal and obstacle to bring peace in the region. 15-member Council adopted the resolution by a vote of 14 in favour and with one abstention, the United States abstained from the vote. The resolution had been put forward by Malaysia, New Zealand, Senegal and Venezuela. Resolution demands an immediate and complete ceasing of all Israeli settlement activities in the occupied territory of Palestine. Council also underlined that unless both parties find a solution with negotiations, any change to the 1967 lines would not be recognized. It was also urged in the resolution that both parties should act on the basis of international law, international humanitarian law. The resolution called for immediate steps to prevent all acts of violence against civilians, including acts of terror, as well as all acts of provocation and destruction. On the other side United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has already termed resolution as a significant step towards efforts of international community to reconfirm vision of two States. He further asked leaders of Israel and Palestine to work in collaboration with international community to return to meaningful negotiations. In the past Madrid terms of reference, the Arab Peace Initiative and the Quartet Roadmap all have stressed Israel to end its occupation of Palestine that it begun in 1967 but on one pretext or another Israel using its strong diplomatic relations with US continued to construct settlements. It is good omen that a significant resolution was passed by UNSC in order to bring peace in the region and stop illegal construction of Israeli settlements on the occupied territory. International and regional diplomatic efforts should be intensified to find a comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East on the basis of UN resolutions.
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