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December 22, 2016

Palestine Israel United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 December 2016

Filed under: Israel & the Palestinians, LEGALITIES — talknic @ 1:37 pm 23rd Feb 2017

United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 is a Chapter VI resolution.

It’s one of many reminders to Israel of that state’s obligations to the law. In fact the majority of resolutions against Israel are only reminders. Had Israel adhered to the law there’d be no reminders. The Israeli reaction against the US on this matter is simply nonsense.

Permanent UNSC Members cannot and do not veto the binding International Laws, UN Charter cited in a Chapter VI resolution. Despite a resolution being vetoed, the Law and UN Charter reaffirmed and emphasized in the resolution remain in force and an obligation on the parties.

The US usually abstains from voting in the hope that a majority will also abstain.

So what is the big deal about the US abstaining on this resolution? NOTHING! The US abstained as it has done numerous times before on numerous Chapter VI resolutions. What is Israel yapping about?

The resolution was unanimously adopted by those who chose to vote. That’s how the UN works.

2334 is quite simply a concise round up of all the prior UNSC resolutions reminding Israel of its binding legal obligations. If Israel adhered to the law, there’d be no resolutions against it.

Wiping the Palestinians off the map Territory illegally acquired by war and illegally annexed by Israel December 2016

The Security Council,

Reaffirming its relevant resolutions, including resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973), 446 (1979), 452 (1979), 465 (1980), 476 (1980), 478 (1980), 1397 (2002), 1515 (2003), and 1850 (2008),

Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and reaffirming, inter alia, the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force,

Reaffirming the obligation of Israel, the occupying Power, to abide scrupulously by its legal obligations and responsibilities under the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, and recalling the advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice,

Condemning all measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, including, inter alia, the construction and expansion of settlements, transfer of Israeli settlers, confiscation of land, demolition of homes and displacement of Palestinian civilians, in violation of international humanitarian law and relevant resolutions,

Expressing grave concern that continuing Israeli settlement activities are dangerously imperilling the viability of the two-State solution based on the 1967 lines,

Recalling the obligation under the Quartet Roadmap, endorsed by its resolution 1515 (2003), for a freeze by Israel of all settlement activity, including “natural growth”, and the dismantlement of all settlement outposts erected since March 2001,

Recalling also the obligation under the Quartet roadmap for the Palestinian Authority Security Forces to maintain effective operations aimed at confronting all those engaged in terror and dismantling terrorist capabilities, including the confiscation of illegal weapons,

Condemning all acts of violence against civilians, including acts of terror, as well as all acts of provocation, incitement and destruction,

Reiterating its vision of a region where two democratic States, Israel and Palestine, live side by side in peace within secure and recognized borders,

Stressing that the status quo is not sustainable and that significant steps, consistent with the transition contemplated by prior agreements, are urgently needed in order to (i) stabilize the situation and to reverse negative trends on the ground, which are steadily eroding the two-State solution and entrenching a one-State reality, and (ii) to create the conditions for successful final status negotiations and for advancing the two-State solution through those negotiations and on the ground,

Reaffirms that the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace;

Reiterates its demand that Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and that it fully respect all of its legal obligations in this regard;

Underlines that it will not recognize any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations;

Stresses that the cessation of all Israeli settlement activities is essential for salvaging the two-State solution, and calls for affirmative steps to be taken immediately to reverse the negative trends on the ground that are imperilling the two-State solution;

Calls upon all States, bearing in mind paragraph 1 of this resolution, to distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967;

Calls for immediate steps to prevent all acts of violence against civilians, including acts of terror, as well as all acts of provocation and destruction, calls for accountability in this regard, and calls for compliance with obligations under international law for the strengthening of ongoing efforts to combat terrorism, including through existing security coordination, and to clearly condemn all acts of terrorism;

Calls upon both parties to act on the basis of international law, including international humanitarian law, and their previous agreements and obligations, to observe calm and restraint, and to refrain from provocative actions, incitement and inflammatory rhetoric, with the aim, inter alia, of de-escalating the situation on the ground, rebuilding trust and confidence, demonstrating through policies and actions a genuine commitment to the two-State solution, and creating the conditions necessary for promoting peace;

Calls upon all parties to continue, in the interest of the promotion of peace and security, to exert collective efforts to launch credible negotiations on all final status issues in the Middle East peace process and within the time frame specified by the Quartet in its statement of 21 September 2010;

Urges in this regard the intensification and acceleration of international and regional diplomatic efforts and support aimed at achieving, without delay a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East on the basis of the relevant United Nations resolutions, the Madrid terms of reference, including the principle of land for peace, the Arab Peace Initiative and the Quartet Roadmap and an end to the Israeli occupation that began in 1967; and underscores in this regard the importance of the ongoing efforts to advance the Arab Peace Initiative, the initiative of France for the convening of an international peace conference, the recent efforts of the Quartet, as well as the efforts of Egypt and the Russian Federation;

Confirms its determination to support the parties throughout the negotiations and in the implementation of an agreement;

Reaffirms its determination to examine practical ways and means to secure the full implementation of its relevant resolutions;

Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Council every three months on the implementation of the provisions of the present resolution;

Decides to remain seized of the matter.



  1. This website, such seems to be UN source, suggests section VII binding but mute on the rest. Any thoughts?

    Comment by CD — January 24, 2017 @ 12:19 am

    • CD: whether a resolution is binding, and whether a resolution can be vetoed, are two different questions. Under Article 25 states must accept “decisions” of the Security Council. If a resolution says that “the Security Council decides that” something must done then it is clearly binding on States. If a resolution says that the Security Council “calls upon” a State to do something, that is the expression of a wish, not a decision, and it is not binding. There is probably a gray area in between. For example, in 2334 the resolution says the SC “reiterates its demand that Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and that it fully respect all of its legal obligations in this regard”. It could be argued that a demand that a State does something amounts to a decision that the State must do that thing. Maybe there is some case law on this? Usually what happens is that if the SC intends a Chapter VI resolution to be binding, it makes that clear by threatening enforcement with a Chapter VII resolution if the State does not accept the resolution.

      Permanent members of the Security Council can veto any “substantive” draft resolution. If they do so, there is no resolution, and so no question as to whether it is binding.

      Comment by dgfincham — January 24, 2017 @ 11:55 am

      • So neither UNSC 242 or UNSC 2334 are thus legally binding as they were taken under Chapter VI (which does not include the use of decisions, just recommendations)?
        Seems kind of pointless to bother with resolutions under Chapter VI.
        As such, how can the statements of UNSC 2334 that the settlements have no legals basis be “binding”?
        Is this derived from their declarative nature?
        It seems to me that as a member state of the UN, Israel is bound not to acquire territory by war and that stops claims on the West Bank and Gaza (given the missing reversioner thesis has been rejected).
        However, I am now doubting the binding nature of UN242 or UN2334 given the Chapter VI, rather than Chapter VII, nature of them.

        Comment by CD — February 17, 2017 @ 8:06 pm

        • CD: No, I did not say that Chapter VI Resolutions are not binding. They are binding if they are ‘decisions’. (Article 25 of the Charter). For example, there is a resolution saying that the Security Council “determines” that the settlements in occupied territory are illegal. That is certainly a decision. Resolution 242 says fulfilment of Charter principles “requires” the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East which should include the application of both the following principles…etc. That is also clearly a decision. I suggested that a Resolution that “called upon” a state to do something is not a decision, it is an expression of a wish, and so is not binding. Others may disagree. Resolution 2334 “demands” that Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory. To my mind that amounts to a decision, and is binding on Israel. The problem with 2334 is that it does not threaten enforcement by a Chapter 7 resolution if Israel does not obey, so that Israel can safely ignore it.

          Comment by dgfincham — February 17, 2017 @ 8:48 pm

          • All International Law is binding on all states. The UN charter is binding in its entirety on all UN Member states. International Law and the UN Charter reaffirmed and/or emphasized in any UN resolution is binding.

            Chapt VI resolutions most often remind parties of their obligations to adhere to the Law and the UN Charter. The Israeli narrative is that the UN is biased against Israel. It’s bullsh*t. The majority of UN resolutions against Israel are only reminders of Israel’s obligations to adhere to the UN Charter and International Law and to previous resolutions. If you don’t fulfill your obligations to pay a utility bill, you get a reminder to pay because you haven’t fulfilled your obligations.

            Comment by talknic — February 18, 2017 @ 9:03 am

            • Hi talknic: “All International Law is binding on all states. The UN charter is binding in its entirety on all UN Member states. International Law and the UN Charter reaffirmed and/or emphasized in any UN resolution is binding.” Yes, I understand that. The question on which I hoped you could show some light is: how do you know whether a Chapter VI Resolution, if it goes beyond being just a reminder of International Law, is a ‘decision’ and therefore binding under Article 25?

              Comment by dgfincham — February 18, 2017 @ 6:33 pm

              • It doesn’t. Article 25 must be read in context and order with articles 24 & 26.

                If a resolution is to be binding, it must be a Chapter VII resolution

                A Chapter VI resolution in effect outlines the nature of the crime as determined by existing Law/UN Charter and how the offending parties must act in accordance with that existing binding Law/UN Charter in order to peacefully redeem the situation. IOW a chance to comply as decided by the UNSC. UNSC res 242 is such a resolution. Compliance can be seen in the Israel/Egypt Peace Treaty and its implementation, where Israel withdrew from all Egyptian territories for peace. Israel refuses to adhere to the Law as reaffirmed in UNSC 242 in respect to Palestine and the Golan.

                A Chapter VII resolution is in effect the ‘sentence’ for not adhering to the law and previous pleas to comply. It might consist of sanctions, peace keeping forces or even invasion as decided by the UNSC. (The law does not decide the sentence)

                A Chapter VI resolution often says the UNSC “Reiterates its demand …” The resolution itself is only a reminder. You have to go back and look at the original ‘demand’

                Comment by talknic — February 22, 2017 @ 2:09 pm

  2. What about Gaza?

    Comment by dgfincham — December 22, 2016 @ 1:57 pm

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