The United States on Wednesday blocked an attempt by several countries to get the U.N. Security Council to condemn Israel’s demolition earlier this week of buildings outside of East Jerusalem, Reuters reported on Thursday.
Kuwait, Indonesia and South Africa circulated a draft statement among the 15-member Security Council on Tuesday warning that the demolition “undermines the viability of the two-state solution and the prospect for just and lasting peace,” according to the report.
The demolition followed a seven-year legal battle over 10 buildings in the Wadi al-Hummus area of Sur Baher, a neighborhood east of Jerusalem. Israel maintained the buildings had been constructed too close to the security fence, and posed a security risk. Residents argued that the buildings were in Area A of the West Bank, which is under the control of the Palestinian Authority.
Israel’s High Court of Justice last month dismissed the residents’ petition requesting that the military order prohibiting construction in the area be cancelled. The buildings were demolished on Monday.
The United States objected to the text, and also refused to support a shorter, revised version, according to Reuters, leading to the failure of the resolution.
The European Union and France condemned the demolition, and the Palestinian Authority threatened to lodge a complaint against Israel at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan accused the P.A. of telling “lies,” stressing that “the demolitions had occurred after a lengthy legal process and the approval of Israel’s highest court” and reiterated that “the structures were built illegally next to the security fence and constitute a risk to the lives of civilians and security forces.”