Author: ADAM RASGON
Posted on December 26, 2016
Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal praised a UN Security Council resolution critical of Israeli settlements on Sunday night, but clarified “that [it] is not enough.”
“This resolution has given the world an indication of the danger of settlements, which are stealing our land…Thus, we consider this Security Council resolution an important, influential step in the right direction…and a correction of some American and international policy errors, but that is not enough,” Meshaal told a group of Turkish students in Istanbul.
The text of UNSC resolution 2334 said settlements “have no legal validity,” constituting a major violation of international law and an obstacle to peace.
Meshaal added that Palestinians now expect the international community to take more steps supportive of the Palestinian cause.
“The Palestinian people are looking to the Islamic world and international community in its just battle to do away with the occupation – we want our land without occupation and settlements. We want our land without hostility or raids. We want Jerusalem,” Meshaal remarked, adding that “We want the world to stand with our just resistance.”
Hamas has tacitly supported the Palestinian leadership’s strategy to internationalize the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, while simultaneously backing armed resistance.
Meshaal’s statements come two days after Hamas issued an official statement in support of the UNSC resolution.
“We welcome this important transformation and development in international positions supporting Palestinian rights in international forums…as we call for more of these positions backing the justice of the Palestinian issue,” Fawzi Barhoum said in an official statement on Hamas’s website on Friday.
In addition to Hamas, the various factions of the Palestine Liberation Organization and Islamic Jihad have welcomed the UNSC resolution.
Nabil Abu Rudeinah, spokesman of the PA Presidency, told Wafa, the official PA news site, that the resolution is “a major blow to Israeli policy, an unanimous international condemnation of settlements, and strong support for the two-state solution.”
The exact implications of the UNSC resolution remain unclear, but some Palestinian officials have said that it will give steam to the ICC’s preliminary investigation into settlements.
ICC Prosecutor General Fatou Bensouda opened a preliminary examination into alleged war crimes relating to the 2014 Gaza war and to the settlement enterprise in January 2015.