Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said there would be “dangerous consequences” following Israel’s announcement on Tuesday approving the construction of 2,500 housing units in settlements in the West Bank, Israel Radio reported Thursday morning.
Speaking at a meeting of his Fatah party in Ramallah, Abbas also reportedly said that Palestinian diplomats will work to try and put a halt to the construction and that he is in consultations with officials from both Arab and other unspecified countries on how to introduce the subject in international forums.
Following Tuesday’s announcement, numerous Palestinian officials condemned the move, including Palestinian Liberation Organization Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi.
“Such a deliberate escalation of Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise constitutes a war crime and the flagrant violation of international law and conventions, in particular UN Security Council Resolution 2334,” she said, a reference to a resolution from last month that condemned Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem as “a flagrant violation under international law.”
The settlement building “needs to be condemned,” Swedish Ambassador Olof Skoog told reporters.
The ambassador, who holds the council presidency this month, said council members received an update on the situation but that no one pushed for immediate action during the talks, which were requested by Bolivia.
Palestinian Ambassador Riyad Mansour told reporters the council must ensure that its own resolutions are upheld and that Israel must not “get away with it” by building in settlements.
He said the Palestinians are discussing “all kind of ideas” with council members and others to ensure that the resolution is implemented.
The Swedish ambassador said that despite taking no immediate action, “everyone in the council [who] spoke today is eager to make sure we find ways to minimize the effects of unilateral action.”
The possibility of passing a joint Security Council resolution condemning resolution appears unlikely, as US President Donald Trump harshly criticized the Obama administration’s decision to withhold the US’s veto last month, writing on Twitter that “we cannot continue to let Israel be treated with such total disdain and disrespect” and encouraging Israel to “stay strong” until he assumed the presidency.
President-elect Trump, who acknowledges that this country was founded by Christians and was built on Christian morals, is having all pagan symbols removed from the property unless they offer some historical significance. Only the cross in the White House chapel will remain for worship. Jim Mergernerlerny, head of the team that will transform the White House from the Obama’s home to the Trumps’ second home, told MSNBC:
“Mr Trump doesn’t see the need to provide prayer rugs and false idols in a house built by Christians. Washington, DC offers a diverse cultural centre for the worship of any kind. You won’t find any special considerations for Judaism or crucifixes to appease Catholics, either. There is a simple chapel with a single cross on one wall that is suitable for prayer by anyone. Our government doesn’t need to be forcing prayer rituals down people’s throats just so we don’t “offend” apologising people looking to blow us up.