Release of the letter comes as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is expected to present a draft resolution condemning Israeli settlements to the UN Security Council in New York later this month.
The resolution will be the first to directly condemn Israeli settlements as illegal under international law since the United States vetoed a similar resolution in 2011.
The congressional letter – signed by 394 members of the total 435 – expressed support for a two-state solution and voiced concern that “one-sided initiatives may arise at the UN in the coming months. […] Such efforts dangerously hinder the prospects for resuming direct negotiations.”
In a press release Thursday, the UN said the viability of the internationally-backed two-state solution is “in danger,” citing Israel’s expansions of illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank as a main threat to negotiations.
The construction of Jewish-only settlements on occupied Palestinian land has long been considered a violation of international law by the UN, although Israel contests this and has yet to be held accountable by the international community.
The forthcoming UN resolution will mark the latest attempt by the Palestinian leadership to counter ongoing Israeli violations in the international arena, brought on in part by decades of failed negotiations…