Venezuelan envoy blasts Israel over settlements, violence


Rafael Ramirez, the ambassador to the UN ©AP

Venezuela’s ambassador to the United Nations has lashed out at Israel over its acts of violence against Palestinians and illegal settlement activities in the occupied territories.
Rafael Ramirez made the remarks on Friday during an Arria Formula meeting, which is an informal arrangement that allows the UN Security Council to be briefed about international peace and security issues.
Ramirez condemned Tel Aviv’s “unlawful settlements” and “ongoing violence” against Palestinian citizens, saying the Palestinian civilian population has been subject to systematic rights violations and war crimes at the hands of the regime.
“We cannot continue to let the People of suffer at the hands of an occupied power who continues to settle in their territory, demolish their homes, grab their lands, imprison their children and murder their women and children,” he said.
The Venezuelan diplomat also called on the 15-member council to “come up with a resolution on the illegal Israeli settlements,” warning that inaction regarding the issue would be “a crime against the people of Palestine.”
He further described the Security Council’s failure to solve Israeli-Palestinian conflict a “clear fiasco” amid the United States’ constant use of veto power in that regard. 

Palestinian protesters hold national flags, as the illegal Halamish settlement is seen in the background, during clashes with Israeli forces in the West Bank village of Nabi Salih near Ramallah on April 15, 2016. ©AFP

Discussions are underway about a new Security Council resolution draft against Israel’s unlawful expansion of settlements in the occupied Palestinian lands.
Back in 2011, the UN Security Council failed to adopt a similar resolution. The draft gathered an overwhelming support of 14 out of the council’s 15 members, but the US used its veto to block the measure.
The Venezuelan envoy’s comments irked Danny Danon, the Israeli UN ambassador, who said the remarks were “direct continuations to the Palestinian representative’s statement a few days ago comparing Israel to the Nazis.”
Last month, Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian UN envoy, hit back at controversial comments by Danon, who had called Palestinian protesters in the occupied lands “terrorists.”
Mansour likened the Tel Aviv regime to Nazi Germany, saying “all colonizers” throughout the history described “those who resisted them as terrorists.”
Palestinians are also angry over Israeli settler attacks in the occupied territories and repeated desecration of the al-Aqsa compound in East al-Quds (Jerusalem).
More than 210 Palestinians, including children and women, have lost their lives at the hands of Israeli forces in what is regarded as the third Palestinian Intifada (uprising) since the beginning of last October.

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