Palestine

On 06 October 2016, the US (both White House & State Department) strongly condemned Israel for approving plans for new settlement construction, in West Bank. US spokesmen said the plan for 300 new homes and an industrial zone would diminish prospects for a two-state solution, to the Israel-Palestine conflict. Despite the condemnation, in September 2016, US agreed to a 10-year US$ 38Billion military aid package for Israel.

What is the Israeli Perspective?
Israel contends that constructing new houses does not constitute a new settlement. Fewer than 100 homes are being constructed and within areas of existing settlements, on state land. Since Israel occupied West Bank and Jerusalem, in 1967, more than 5.75Lakh Israelis live in more than 100 settlements that has since been constructed.

What is the UN Perspective?
UNSC Resolution 181 of 1948 had recommended the partitioning of Palestine into Arab and Jewish states. In the UNSC, the US responds to frequent criticisms of Israel by UN organs by adopting the ‘Negroponte Doctrine’. In 2002, John Negroponte, the US Ambassador to UN, stated that US will oppose UNSC resolutions that condemn Israel. From 2006-13, Israel has been condemned in 45 resolutions of the UN Human Rights Council. The UNGA has also adopted several resolutions stating the strategic relationship with the US encourages Israel to follow aggressive and expansionist, policies & practices.

Will new Jewish settlements strengthen ‘Perpetual Occupation’??
Many experts have observed that US condemnation of Israeli actions, are never followed by real action. In the seven-decade old conflict, political positions have got calcified. Perhaps, UNSC resolutions 181 & 194, were too idealistic; advocating two religious states and an International City. A single, secular and combined Israel & Palestinian state, maybe easier to implement.
Sources: BBC, Wikipedia

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