Report: ‘Near-Euphoric’ Palestinian Officials Say UN Resolution Enables Boycott of Settlements, Anti-Israel Lawsuits at International Criminal Court
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas reacted with “near-euphoria” to the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 2334 — the Hebrew news site nrg reported on Tuesday — saying it “proves that the world rejects [Israeli] settlements as illegal, and [acknowledges] they were established on our occupied land, including east Jerusalem.”
According to nrg, PA Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said that, because of the resolution, “It will now be possible to impose a boycott on the settlements, and even employ legal sanctions against companies that work with [them].”
Al-Maliki, who nrg said is considered one of the PA’s key promoters of international anti-Israel activity, specified a number of options that Friday’s Security Council vote has made available, among them using the threat of personal lawsuits filed with the International Criminal Court in The Hague as leverage on Israeli decision-makers.
In interviews with the Palestinian press, Al-Maliki said, “We are working on shaping a vision that sees 2017 as the year of the end of Israeli occupation.”
Al-Maliki’s sentiments were echoed by Fatah Central Committee member Mohammad Shtayyeh, a former Palestinian negotiator and close adviser to Abbas, who was quoted by the Chinese news outlet Xinhua as saying that the PA intends to assemble a team to document Israeli land expropriation, settlement construction, the “illegal use of water resources… and other illegal Israeli uses of Palestinian territory.”
Shtayyeh said that the team in question would be created with the help of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, as part of the implementation of Friday’s UN resolution. He also called on the international community to cooperate in the effort to “fight the settlements,” by submitting periodic reports to the UN secretary-general and other means.
Shtayyeh went on to say that despite the fact that the Security Council resolution is not binding, it was adopted according to Chapter 6 of the UN Charter, and thus opens the door to presenting a new anti-settlement resolution in the framework of Chapter 7, through which the Security Council can also decide to impose international sanctions on Israel. “The resolution enables us to implement an international boycott and encourages us to request that European countries take steps against dual citizens who live in illegal [areas],” he said.
Referring to the fact that the United States abstained from the 14-0 vote, Shtayyeh lauded the American administration for changing its tradition of vetoing [anti-Israel] UN resolutions and praised President Barack Obama for “offering something to the Palestinians” at the end of his term.
Shtayyeh continued: “Israel used to say that Jerusalem is its united capital, and that the 1967 borders are not the final borders, thereby claiming ownership of Palestinian territories, but now the world has determined otherwise.” He then called on the European Union to view and adopt a planned French peace initiative as a “continental effort,” and said that doing so would demonstrate that only multilateral negotiations can succeed — rather than the failed bilateral ones the US has promoted over the years.
In a reference to the harsh response the resolution elicited in Jerusalem — with Prime Minister Netanyahu reprimanding the countries that supported it — Shtayyeh concluded that the “insanity” exhibited in Israel’s political corridors comes from a grasp of the significance of its adoption.