International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor says South Africa is gravely concerned by the continued disregard for the long-standing Middle East Peace Process through the systematic foreclosing of final status issues including the status of Jerusalem and expanding illegal settlements.

Pandor, who is chairing a United Nations Security Council meeting on the Middle East focused on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, has urged her fellow council members to find ways to repair its damaged and waning credibility as a source for peace and security.

“South Africa believes it is always possible to find solutions to seemingly intractable challenges. Our own struggles were advances by UN action and determination to end a crime against humanity. We need similar vigorous international solidarity indignation and commitment for Palestine. Council is fully aware that it is in this very body that the elusive breakthrough exists. That it is only several of the members present here that can ensure peace and security in Palestine and the entire Middle East,” says Pandor.

The United States has often used its veto to shield Israel from criticism including attempts at a resolution last June condemning its use of force against Palestinian civilians and an effort in 2017 to urge President Donald Trump to reverse his decision that the United States formally recognises Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of a future independent state.

Pandor has warned that it was clear that there was no intention to achieve peace by those implementing decisions that undermine the peace process, including on questions on the return of refugees, borders and expanding illegal settlements.

“The Council must find ways to repair its damaged and waning credibility as a source of peace and security. Council must insist on regular written reports on the implementation of its decisions, particularly with respect to resolution 2334. Secondly, council must visibly show its solidarity with the long-suffering people of Palestine by conducting the long-overdue field visit to the occupied Palestine territory by those on Council willing to do this. And thirdly, council must take further action against the continued violation of human rights and disregard for international law,” says Pandor.