The United Nations Security Council is set to meet next Friday to discuss the issue of Israeli settlements under the official banner of ”The settlements as the obstacle to peace and a two-state solution.”
The talks will take place in a relatively new fashion. Called the Arria-Formula, it is an informal meeting. The Security Council is expected to take a hostile line toward Israel.
The meeting is expected to be an opening salvo by the Palestinian Authority diplomat. His ultimate design is to solicit a Security Council resolution condemning Jewish settlements in the biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria.
While the meeting was initiated by the Palestinians, its official request was submitted by Malaysia, Venezuela, Senegal, Egypt and Angola.
Ynet News, an Israeli news agency, obtained and reviewed the position paper distributed among meeting participants.
“The existence and expansion of the settlements on Palestinians lands which were occupied in 1967 endanger a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the two-state solution,” the paper reads.
It further assigns guilt to Israeli security forces for “overlooking violent acts of the settlers against Palestinians and not giving them the protection to which they are entitled under international law.”
The central focus regarding settlements is expected to be placed on construction in Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem, the expansion of existing communities in the West Bank and what the organizers have described as “the abandonment of Palestinian lands.”
Following the talks’ conclusion, its coordinators are expected to demand that the Security Council take practical steps against Israel on the issue.
The planned meeting evoked scathing criticism from Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon.
“The Palestinians are using the international community to harm the State of Israel instead of stopping incitement and sitting at the negotiation table. The Palestinians are conducting state terror against the communities in Judea and Samaria,” Danon said.
Danon raised further objections to the Palestinian practice bypassing the direct negotiations with Israel, instead opting to take matters to the UN.
“The Palestinian leadership is choosing, once again, to reject our repeated suggestion for direct negotiations and is going straight to the UN. This move will not lead to an improvement in the Palestinian situation,” he wanrned. “It is the international community’s responsibility to strongly reject these attempts. Only an absolute stop to Palestinian incitement and the halting of terror against Israeli citizens will facilitate a dialogue.”
This is a lightly edited version of the original article published by YNet News at http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4863930,00.html