US allows UN denounce Israeli settlements
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu says a UN call to end settlement activity on occupied land is 'shameful'
The Council on Friday demanded that Israel halt its settlement activities in Palestinian territory. Pic/AFP
United Nations: Defying heavy pressure, the US on Saturday allowed the UN Security Council to pass a resolution demanding Israel to halt settlements in Palestinian territory as it abstained from wielding its veto in the powerful world body.
The 15-nation Council adopted the resolution by a vote of 14 in favour and with one abstention from the US. In a rare step, the US abstained, enabling the adoption of the first UN resolution since 1979 to condemn Israel over its settlement policy.
The resolution had been put forward by Malaysia, New Zealand, Senegal and Venezuela. The Council reiterated its demand that Israel "immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and that it fully respects all of its legal obligations in this regard".
Pressure from Trump
The adoption of the resolution and Washington's abstention was seen as a huge rebuke to Israel, which has traditionally been a staunch US ally. US President-elect Donald Trump had put pressure on the Obama administration to veto the UN resolution critical of Israel.
A day before the vote, Trump said in a post on Facebook that the resolution being considered at the UN Security Council regarding Israel should be vetoed.
Following the adoption of the resolution, Trump made his displeasure clear, tweeting "As to the UN, things will be different after January 20," referring to the day when he is sworn in as the next US President.
Jews live in about 140 settlements built since 1967
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Samantha Power, US envoy to the UN
"The settlement problem has gotten so much worse that it is threatening the two-state solution"
"Israel categorically rejects this shameful anti-Israeli resolution, and will not adhere to it. The Obama regime not only failed to protect Israel against this gang-up at the UN, it colluded with it behind the scenes"
Riyad Mansour, Palestinian envoy to the UN
"The Council's action, while long overdue, is timely, necessary and important"
Mohammad al-Momani, Jordan minister
"This historic decision expresses the consensus of the international community on the illegality of Israeli settlements"
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