1 of 3 | U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield expressed concern about violence in Israel and Israel's announcement that it plans to build new settlements in the West Bank during a meeting of the U.N. Security Council on Monday. File Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo
Feb. 20 (UPI) -- The U.N. Security Council voiced its opposition to Israel's authorization of nine new settlements in the West Bank on Monday.
The Security Council met to discuss the latest developments in the conflict between Israel and Palestine. The council adopted a presidential statement, "expressing its deep concern and dismay" over Israel's plans.
The statement reinforces calls for a two-state solution, establishing boundaries and equal freedoms for Israel and Palestine. The council expressed concern that the authorization of more settlements in the West Bank threatens the potential for any type of peace agreement and threatens the homes of Palestinians.
The council also shared concern about the escalation of violence in the Middle East, citing Israelis and Palestinians trading fire along the Gaza Strip.
Tor Wennesland, special coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, said the eruption of violence has included some of the deadliest events in the last 20 years. He called on leaders from both sides to take steps toward peace and a two-state solution.
"I am concerned that developments on the ground are continuing their negative trajectory, gaining in both pace and intensity," he said.
"With the holy month of Ramadan once again coinciding with the Passover and Easter holidays this year, joint efforts are needed to ensure that this period passes safely and peacefully for all."
U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield spoke out against West Bank settlements, going against calls from House Republicans to veto any "anti-Israel resolution." Thomas-Greenfield condemned the terrorist attacks in Israel, specifically the Jan. 27 attack on a synagogue in East Jerusalem.
Monday's discussion echoed sentiments shared by Secretary of State Anthony Blinken in a call with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday.
"I reiterated our strong support for a negotiated two-state solution and underscored the urgent need for Israelis and Palestinians to take steps to restore calm and our opposition to escalatory unilateral measures," Blinken tweeted.