UAE calls off UN vote on Israeli settlements under US ‘pressure’
Last week, the UAE put forward a draft UN resolution condemning Israel’s illegal expansion of settlements
By News Desk - February 20 2023

(Photo credit: Reuters)

The UAE told the UN Security Council on 19 February that it will not vote on a resolution for a ‘complete and immediate’ cessation of Israeli settlement activity in Palestinian territory, as was expected for Monday’s session, a note obtained by Reuters news agency confirmed.

“Given the positive talks between the parties, we are now working on a draft ‘presidential statement’ which would garner consensus … Accordingly, there will not be a vote on the draft resolution on Monday. Much of the language of the presidential statement will be drawn from the draft resolution.”

This comes just a few days after it was reported that Abu Dhabi had drafted a Security Council resolution calling on Israel to “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory,” particularly the occupied West Bank, where Israel has just recently approved the legalization of nine new settlements. The draft resolution also “condemns all attempts at annexation.”

Israel has claimed that the decision to approve new settlements is motivated by recent ‘terror attacks’ by Palestinians, referring to resistance operations carried out in response to Israeli violence and oppression.

According to a 20 February report by Saudi news outlet Al-Arabiya, Washington has requested that the Emiratis “hold off” on the resolution, as it was trying to “broker a deal between the two parties” over the past few days.

US media outlet Axios released a report on 19 February saying that as a result of this US “pressure,” the Palestinian Authority (PA) has agreed to cease pushing for the resolution, and Israel has reportedly agreed to ‘temporarily suspend’ settlement activity, the demolition of Palestinian homes, and forced eviction. In return, Washington will “support” an Emirati presidential statement condemning the expansion of illegal Israeli settlements, which the US has the authority to “block,” according to the Jerusalem Post.

The Israeli outlet also referred to the UAE’s planned presidential statement as “less controversial,” as it is less adversarial towards Israel.

This comes in the wake of an unprecedented rise in tensions across Palestine following increased Israeli violence and subsequent armed resistance by Palestinians. Following an Israeli massacre in the West Bank city of Jenin, the PA was quick to resume security cooperation with Israel after very briefly suspending it.

Similarly, the suspension of the UAE’s planned resolution represents how quickly Tel Aviv’s demands are acquiesced to.

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