UNSC nations flay US silence over settlement activities

United Nations: With the exception of the US, the 15-nation UN Security Council came together to condemn the increased Israeli settlement activities in occupied territories and the violence by settlers on Palestinians.

The Council heard on Wednesday a briefing on the situation in the Middle East by Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, who said the realisation of a two-State solution for Israelis and Palestinians has not advanced, with violent incidents erupting at a worrying rate over the past month.

"As the year draws to a close, the situation on the ground is deteriorating and the path towards peace remains dangerously uncertain," he said.

Later members of the Council, in their respective capacities as representatives of various regional blocs, voiced concern over the lack of progress in reaching a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

They also criticised the Council`s inaction in wake of escalating violence by Israeli settlers due to "objections of one delegation", a reference to the US, Israel`s staunch ally.

Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, who is the UNSC President this month, told reporters that no consensus statement was possible from the 15-member council "because there is one delegation which would not want to hear anything about it, any kind of a statement".

Referring to America, Churkin said the delegation believes that "somehow things will sort of settle themselves miraculously out of their own".

In February, the UNSC had brought a resolution condemning the building of Israeli settlements on Palestinian land.

The US was the only Security Council member to oppose the resolution and had blocked it with its veto.