Jerusalem calls off vote on approving new Israeli homes

Jerusalem, Dec 28 (IANS) The Jerusalem municipality on Wednesday called off the vote on approving permits for the construction of hundreds of new Israeli homes in East Jerusalem.

It would have been the first authorisation since the recent UN Security Council resolution condemned settlements, Efe news reported.

The meeting was scheduled to approve at least 618 houses in Jewish settlements in the Israeli-occupied territory, which sparked severe criticism as it would have come just days after the international community urged Israel to cease its colonising activities.

The UNSC passed a resolution on December 23 that condemned Israeli settlements in the West Bank and demanded an immediate end to Israel’s policy of building settlements on occupied Palestinian territory.

Although Washington used its veto to block a similar resolution in 2011, President Barack Obama, who has taken a harder line on settlements in recent months, ignored a public appeal from President-elect Donald Trump to do the same this time.

Israel’s construction of housing in East Jerusalem and the West Bank is a “flagrant violation under international law” that was “dangerously imperiling the viability” of the two-state solution, the resolution says.

It emphasises that the UNSC will not recognise any change to the 1967 borders that does not emerge from negotiations between the parties to the conflict.

While acknowledging Israel’s security concerns, the UN resolution condemns “all acts of violence against civilians, including acts of terror, as well as all acts of provocation, incitement and destruction”.

–IANS

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