The U.N. Security Council expressed its “deep concern and dismay” Monday on Israel’s announcement last week that it plans to expand settlements and retroactively legalize nine existing ones.
It is the first time in more than six years that the 15-nation Security Council has expressed itself about settlements, mainly due to the veto power of the United States, which traditionally acts to protect ally Israel at the U.N.
It comes at a time of rising tensions and violence between the two sides. At least 47 Palestinians and 10 Israelis have been killed since the start of the year.
“We strongly oppose Israel’s announcement that it will advance thousands of settlement units,” U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said. “And we strongly oppose Israel’s announcement that it will begin a process to retroactively legalize nine outposts in the West Bank that were previously illegal under Israeli law.
“These unilateral measures exacerbate tensions. They harm trust between the parties. They undermine the prospects for a negotiated two-state solution. The United States does not support these actions — full stop.”