(CNSNews.com) – Israel’s U.N. ambassador paid tribute during a U.N. Security Council meeting on Monday to victims of recent Palestinian terror attacks, but when he stood to mark a period of silence in their memory, no other council delegation joined him.
As the U.N. camera panned across the chamber in New York, the only diplomats seen standing were Israeli ambassador Gilad Erdan and the four members of his delegation.
The council met to condemn Israeli plans to authorize the building of additional homes in existing “settlements” – Jewish communities located in areas claimed by the Palestinians for a future state. Israel also intends to authorize nine outposts in those areas which up to now have been deemed illegal by the authorities.
The plans were approved by the Israeli cabinet early last week in direct response to recent terror attacks. Israel says the Palestinian Authority’s policy of paying monthly stipends to families of dead or imprisoned terrorists following attacks against Israelis incentivizes terrorism.
In his remarks to the council, Erdan drew attention to the victims of recent Palestinian terror attacks, including seven people shot dead near a Jerusalem synagogue, and three – a recently-married 20-year-old man and two young brothers – murdered in a car-ramming attack in Jerusalem.
He then held up a large photo of the brothers, six-year old Yaakov Pally and eight-year-old Asher Pally.
“These two beautiful children were murdered just for being Jews,” Erdan said. “Today’s meeting should have been convened to condemn the price paid by innocent Israelis for the Palestinian Authority’s incitement and hate.”
“I will not let the victims be forgotten,” he continued. “I will now rise for a minute of silence in their memory and the memory of all the other victims of Palestinian terror. I pray for their memory and I pray that you think of them in the future when discussing the true obstacles to peace in our region.”
After standing in silence, alone with his delegation, Erdan thanked the council president, and resumed his seat. The meeting continued.
Those seated around the horseshoe table were representatives of the permanent five – the United States, Britain, France, Russia, and China – and the current non-permanent members Albania, Brazil, Ecuador, Gabon, Ghana, Japan, Malta, Mozambique, Switzerland, and the UAE.
Also were representatives of Qatar, which chairs the Arab group this month, and the Palestinian observer mission.
With the support of all 15 members, the council agreed to a “presidential statement” voicing strong opposition to actions which it said impede peace, including “Israeli construction and expansion of settlements, confiscation of Palestinians’ land, and the ‘legalization’ of settlement outposts, demolition of Palestinians’ homes and displacement of Palestinian civilians.”
It also condemned all acts of violence against civilians and called “for all parties to clearly condemn all acts of terrorism.”
The statement further reiterated “the obligation of all parties regarding the pursuit of accountability for all acts of violence targeting civilians, and recalls the obligation of the Palestinian Authority to renounce and confront terror.”
In her statement during the meeting U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield condemned the recent attacks.
“The deliberate targeting of innocent civilians is unconscionable,” she said. “And the United States supports Israel’s right to self-defense.”
Thomas-Greenfield said it was essential that Israelis and Palestinians “break the cycle of violence and de-escalate.”
“Now, let me add a clear, unequivocal statement,” she continued. “We strongly oppose Israel’s announcement that it will advance thousands of settlement units.And we strongly oppose Israel’s announcement that it begin a process to retroactively legalize nine outposts in the West Bank that were previously illegal under Israeli law.”
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu after the meeting slammed the Security Council, saying its presidential statement “denies the rights of Jews to live in our historic homeland, fails to mention the Palestinian terror attacks in Jerusalem in which 10 Israeli civilians were murdered, ignores the Palestinian Authority’s grotesque pay-for-slay policy, which subsidizes the murder of Jews, and belittles the evil of antisemitism, which has resulted in the slaughter of millions.”
“The statement should never have been made and the United States should never have joined it,” he added.
Speaking to reporters outside the council chamber after the meeting, Erdan was asked about the fact that even the U.S. supported the presidential statement.
“We consider the United States of America as our most important and closest ally, but sometimes, like within every family, there could be some disagreements,” he said.
“And on the Palestinian issue, we have some disagreements with our American friends and allies. It’s not a secret.”
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