Israeli-Palestinian shouting match at UN Security Council

2016-04-18 21:01
Permanent Observer of Palestine to the UN, Riyad Mansour. (Kena Betancur, AFP)

Permanent Observer of Palestine to the UN, Riyad Mansour. (Kena Betancur, AFP)

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New York - A UN Security Council debate turned into a shouting match on Monday between the Israeli and Palestinian ambassadors, who exchanged cries of "Shame on you!" over ongoing violence.

Israeli Ambassador Danny Danon broke away from his address to the council and demanded that the Palestinian representative condemn acts of terrorism - the term he used to describe Palestinian attacks on Israelis.

"Shame on you for glorifying terrorism!" Danon said.

"Shame on you for killing Palestinian children!" Riyad Mansour shot back.

After being called to order by the council president, Danon once again turned to Mansour and hammered: "You cannot say it here. Palestinian children are looking at you right now."

"'I condemn all acts of terrorism': one sentence you cannot say. Shame on you for that," he pressed on.

"Let my people be free! Shame on you! Shame on you! Shame on you! You are an occupier," Mansour hit back.

The council debate took place as the Palestinians pushed for a UN resolution demanding that Israel halt the construction of settlements in the Palestinian territories.

The draft resolution is being negotiated with Arab countries and has yet to be formally circulated to the council, but the United States - which vetoed a similar resolution in 2011 - has said it "will consider all options" over the Israeli-Palestinian effort.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in an address that Israeli demolitions of Palestinian buildings in the West Bank were continuing at "an alarming rate", reasserting that settlements are illegal.

The latest surge of violence over the past six months has killed about 30 Israelis and 200 Palestinians, with most of the Palestinians killed while carrying out knife, gun or car-ramming attacks, Ban said.

The United Nations supports a two-state solution in the Middle East, with Israel and Palestine both recognised countries, and the expansion of Israeli settlements is seen as undermining that plan.

"Tragically, this solution seems more distant than it has for many decades," Ban said.

The Middle East quartet - comprised of the United Nations, the European Union, the United States and Russia - is working on a report about how to restart peace efforts.

France is pushing for an international conference to jumpstart negotiations.

Read more on:    un  |  palestine  |  israel

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