The United States on Wednesday blocked an attempt by Kuwait, Indonesia and South Africa to get the United Nations Security Council to condemn Israel‘s demolition of illegal Palestinian homes on the outskirts of Yerushalayim, diplomats said.
Israel said the 10 apartment buildings demolished on Monday, most of them still under construction, had been built illegally and posed a security risk to Israeli armed forces operating along the security fence.
U.N. officials, who had called on Israel to halt the demolition plans, said 17 Palestinians faced displacement.
Kuwait, Indonesia and South Africa circulated a five-paragraph draft statement, seen by Reuters, to the 15-member Security Council on Tuesday that expressed grave concern and warned that the demolition “undermines the viability of the two-state solution and the prospect for just and lasting peace.”
Such statements have to be agreed by consensus and on Wednesday the United States told its council counterparts it could not support the text, diplomats said. A revised three-paragraph draft statement was circulated, but the United States again said it did not agree with the text, diplomats said.
The United States has long accused the United Nations of anti-Israel bias and shielded its ally from council action.
President Donald Trump’s Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt and senior Trump adviser Jared Kushner have spent two years developing a peace plan they hope will provide a framework for renewed talks between Israel and the Palestinians.
Greenblatt told the Security Council on Tuesday a peace plan cannot rely on global consensus, inconclusive international law and “unclear” U.N. resolutions, sparking pushback from several countries. He said a decision on the release of the political component of the U.S. plan would be made “soon.”
The buildings demolished on Monday were near what Israel describes as a security barrier. The initial draft Security Council statement described the construction of the wall by Israel as contrary to international law.