Colombia’s Palestinian community spoke out Wednesday against Colombia’s decision to abstain from voting on Palestinian statehood at the United Nations Security Council, arguing that blocking the resolution would be a violation of international law.
According to Spanish news agency EFE, a Palestinian community in Bogota issued a statement begging Colombia “not go against international rights or against their own community of Latin American states.”
The initiative “at no time is an obstacle to peace, to the contrary, it is intended to build a dialogue solidly grounded in international law, in this way Israel is obligated to assume and comply for once to all international commitments.”
The Palestinian community called on the Colombian state “to understand that the Palestinian initiative does not go against the nature of the U.N. and that, in contrast, is in agreement with more than 60 resolutions that the U.N. has issued in the name of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
Colombia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Maria Angela Holguin announced Sunday that Colombia, one of 10 non-permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, will join the United States in its commitment to block a vote on Palestinian statehood Friday. The U.S. will need seven out of the 15 members of the Security Council to abstain or vote against the bid in order to successfully veto a vote on the issue.
President Juan Manual Santos defended the decision Wednesday at a speech to the U.N. General Assembly, explaining that “we are concerned -like the rest of the international community- with the suspension of the peace talks and we urge -more than urge, we implore- the parties to return to negotiations.”
Santos’ Palestinian constituents argued however that the Palestinian statehood initiative “at no time was conceived as a way to avoid a negotiated settlement with Israel. On the contrary, it was conceived as a tool to reinvigorate the negotiations.”
Each week that Israel delays peace talks, its “occupation forces kill on average 25 Palestinians, plan or construct an illegal settlement inside the West Bank, and steal strategic resources such as water, throwing the Palestinian people into an unparalleled humanitarian crisis.”