Israel Withdraws Candidacy for UN Security Council Seat

Israel's exit leaves just Germany or Belgium as candidates for seats at the council

FILE PHOTO: Israeli ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon speaks during a United Nations Security Council meeting concerning the situation in the Middle East, April 26, 2018 in New York City.
Drew Angerer/AFP

Israel released a statement Friday saying it would withdraw its candidacy for a non-permanent seat at the UN Security Council, leaving only Germany and Belgium as candidates for the two places allocated to the "Western European and Others Group."

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"After consulting with our partners, including our good friends, the State of Israel has decided to postpone its candidacy for a seat on the Security Council," the Israeli delegation to the UN wrote. 
 
However, it added that it would work toward "enabling Israel to exercise its right to participate in the activities and decisions of the various UN bodies in the coming years, including in the Security Council, with an emphasis on world development and innovation."  The terms start in 2019 and last two years.

In April, the UN Security Council called for an investigation into clashes on Israel's border with Gaza that left 15 Palestinians dead during the "March of Return," a series of mass protests along the border leading up to Nakba Day, May 15. So far, 45 Palestinians have been killed since the protests started six weeks ago.

There are 15 nations on the council, with five countries who sit as "permanent members" along with ten elected members with two-year terms. Five of the non-permanent seats are up for grabs this year, and the UN General Assembly is due to hold an election next month to decide which countries get them.

Meanwhile, the five permanent members are China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. Danny Danon is Israel's current Ambassador to the United Nations.

Reuters and DPA contributed to the report.