The Palestinian delegation to the United Nations successfully initiated an informal meeting of the Security Council on Israeli settlements in the West Bank that is to be held today (Friday, October 14) and will be attended by representatives of Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem.
Today’s meeting will take place at 10am EDT (5pm Israel time) and will be co-chaired by Angola, Egypt, Malaysia, Senegal and Venezuela. The meeting’s title is “Illegal Israeli Settlements: Obstacles to Peace and Two-State Solution.” B’Tselem’s executive director, Hagai El-Ad, will present an up-to-date summary of West Bank settlements to the 15 countries that sit on the Security Council. “This is the most important international forum that deals with the occupation and perhaps the only one that can promote significant action on the matter,” he said. “This will be one of the most important diplomatic opportunities in the history of B’Tselem,” El-Ad added. He explained that he would repeat on Friday that “the occupation is not an internal Israeli matter, and the Israeli public is not authorized to decide if it wants it to continue. It is a clear international matter.”
A press release from B’Tselem stated: “The responsibility for ending the occupation and the human rights violations that it entails lies first and foremost with Israel, yet this reality will not change as long as the international community stands idly by.” Peace Now announced that it would not be participating in the meeting. However, Lara Friedman of Americans for Peace Now will speak.