On June 23, the Secretary General, António Guterres, published a report on the progress (or rather lack of it) of Security Council Resolution 2334 (2016) which “reaffirmed that the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, had no legal validity and constituted a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace.”
Plus ça change… and the more the Palestinians are betrayed
The report highlighted some of the abuses which included squeezing Palestinians out of their homes in order to link existing illegal settlement into continuous Israeli stretches:
“On 20 May, the Jerusalem District Planning Committee approved the Har Homa E plan for 540 additional housing units in occupied East Jerusalem. The issuance of building permits for the plan is contingent on several conditions. The plan, if implemented, would serve as another step towards connecting the existing Gilo and Har Homa settlements and create a contiguous built-up area of Israeli settlements along the southern perimeter of East Jerusalem. It would also separate Bethlehem and the southern West Bank from East Jerusalem. In early May, settlers established a new outpost, called Eviatar, south of Nablus. In early June, the Israel Defense Forces issued demolition orders for structures housing some 50 Palestinian families in Eviatar and issued a military order banning further construction at the site and its complete evacuation by 14 June…”
Not long after Resolution 2334 was passed, Donald Trump entered the White House, so it is not surprising that the resolution was totally ignored. Now, however, the political landscape is rather different. President Biden is nowhere near as callous as Trump, while Benjamin Netanyahu is finally out, and his government has been replaced by a coalition that includes an Arab contingent, the United Arab List. Nevertheless, a closer look offers little hope.
Palestine does not appear to be high up on Biden’s agenda, while the new Israeli coalition government includes the far right Yamina party of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett which is unashamedly pro-settlements. Moreover, Mansour Abbas, of the United Arab List, made it clear that his priority was “Palestinians living in Israel”. The plight of Palestinians in the occupied territories seems set to continue.