Turkey calls for powerful UN statement against Israel

ANKARA
The UN Security Council has to make a powerful statement against Israel, which has been imposing its will on the Palestinian people by ignoring international law, Turkey’s top diplomat in New York has stated.
Israel’s imposition on the Palestinian people is being carried out by the building of settlements in Palestinian territories, the eviction of Palestinian residents and by tightening its occupation of the Palestinian territories, Ambassador Ertu?rul Apakan, Turkey’s permanent representative to the UN, explained on Wednesday during an open debate of the UN Security Council regarding the situation in the Middle East, the Anatolia news agency reported.
The UN Security Council should make a powerful statement on such unilateral actions by Israel and should not avoid this responsibility, Apakan warned.
The Turkish diplomat also remarked that Israel still hasn’t presented to the UN its findings following an enquiry into a May 31 raid on an aid flotilla.

A Turkish-American teenager and eight Turks were killed during the dawn raid on the Mavi Marmara in the international waters of the eastern Mediterranean. The ship was part of an international flotilla trying to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza.

The UN announced its probe into the deadly raid in August. The investigation is led by former New Zealand Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer and includes an Israeli and a Turkish representative on the panel. Turkey, who claims the attack was a clear violation of international law and demands a formal apology, presented its own report on the flotilla raid to the UN in September.

Also Wednesday, Arab nations submitted a draft resolution to the UN Security Council condemning Israeli settlements in the West Bank. However, a vote is not expected any time soon because of a likely US veto. Turkey has lent support to the resolution.

The point of the resolution, diplomats say, is to highlight Washington’s isolated position on the Security Council, show the Palestinian population that the Palestinian Authority is taking action, and pressure Israel and the United States on the settlement issue.

Council diplomats told Reuters privately that the 15-nation panel was unlikely to take any action on the draft resolution in the near future — if at all — because of the veto.

It has nearly 120 co-sponsors, exclusively Arab and other non-aligned nations. UN diplomats said that the draft would probably receive 14 votes in favor and the one veto if put to an immediate vote. The draft uses language that the so-called Quartet of Middle East peace negotiators — the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations — have used in previous statements on settlements.

Diplomats said Washington had attempted to persuade the Palestinian Authority not to go ahead with the resolution because the administration of President Barack Obama would find it awkward to veto a resolution that it generally agreed with.


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