Palestinians seek UN condemnation of settlements


The Palestinians have sent a letter to the UN Security Council seeking condemnation of Israeli settlement activity, the foreign minister said on Tuesday.
Riyad al-Malki said Palestinian envoy to the United Nations Riyad Mansour submitted letters on Monday to the council and to UN chief Ban Ki-moon, ahead of a meeting of the peacemaking Quartet in Washington on Wednesday.
“The letters called on the international community, and particularly the Security Council, to condemn settlement activity — which is illegal — and other illegal Israeli policies in the occupied Palestinian territory,” Malki told AFP.
The message also called for “urgent measures to put pressure on the occupying power, which is Israel, to compel it to stop these actions and policies immediately,” he said.
The text of the letter warns that Israel’s “illegal and destructive plans not only inflames tensions but further underscores the dubious nature of the occupying power’s claims of readiness to negotiate a peace settlement.”
It said settlement activity was part of a campaign “being deliberately waged in an attempt to seize more Palestinian land and entrench (Israel’s) control over the Palestinian territory.”
Malki said the delivery of the message was carefully timed.
“The goal of these messages at this time in particular is to keep the issue of settlements at the top of the priorities of the Security Council and General Assembly,” Maliki added.
“These messages anticipate the Quartet meeting being held tomorrow, which will discuss the stalled peace process in the region,” he said.