All Israeli Settlements Are Illegal

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The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Tor Wennesland, told the Security Council on Monday, 21 August 2023 that all of Israel’s Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian lands are illegal according to international law.

Wennesland stated that the unabated Israeli demolition of Palestinian homes; the aggression of Israeli occupation forces in the occupied West Bank areas under Palestinian administrative and police control; and attacks by Israeli settlers on Palestinian villages.

“The Israeli occupation authorities confiscated, demolished or pushed owners to demolish 58 Palestinian facilities in Area C of the West Bank and six facilities in East Jerusalem, turning 28 Palestinians homeless, including 14 children,” he added.

The UN official added that the current situation is compounded by “the fragility” of the Palestinian Authority’s financial situation as well as severe funding shortages faced by UN agencies. These include the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, which “urgently needs $75 million in order to be able to continue offering food assistance to 1.2 million refugees in Gaza until the end of this year.”

The World Food Programme requires $41 million to revive its operations in the occupied territories. Wennesland noted that the humanitarian appeal that was launched to help the Palestinians had only a 30 percent response.

Moreover, he called out the Israeli demolition of a Palestinian primary school just days before the start of the new school year.

“While we must urgently focus on addressing the most critical issues and on de-escalating the situation on the ground, we cannot ignore the need to restore a political horizon,” he concluded.

“The council members were clear today that the violence must stop,” wrote Wennesland on X/Twitter after the meeting. “I urge leaders to act now to calm the situation. This spiral of violence is leading nowhere but to more bloodshed.”

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