This May 17, 2016 file photo shows construction on land owned by Palestinian Mohammad Abu Ta'a, in east Jerusalem.(AP Photo)
This May 17, 2016 file photo shows construction on land owned by Palestinian Mohammad Abu Ta'a, in east Jerusalem.(AP Photo)

After US abstention, UN Security Council demands end to Israeli settlements

The UN Security Council on Friday demanded that Israel halt settlements, in a resolution adopted after the United States abstained from voting in the contentious measure.
Washington, Hindustan Times | By Yashwant Raj
UPDATED ON DEC 24, 2016 02:01 AM IST

Ignoring calls from President-elect Donald Trump and lobbying by Israel, the UN Security Council on Friday demanded an end to Israeli settlements, in a resolution adopted after the United States abstained from voting on the contentious measure.

The resolution was passed 14-0.

The resolution moved by Egypt was to come up for vote on Thursday, but was postponed because of Trump’s personal intervention — he spoke to the Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

While Egypt agreed to hold the resolution, its co-sponsors New Zealand, Senegal, Malaysia and Venezuela put it to vote on Friday. It required nine votes to pass, and it got 14.

Any one of the permanent members could have stopped it with a veto, but no one did.

The Obama administration, which has been extremely frustrated with the continuing settlement constructions, ignored Trump’s open call on Thursday and intense lobbying by the Israeli government.

Trump said in a statement, “The resolution being considered at the United Nations Security Council regarding Israel should be vetoed.

“As the United States has long maintained, peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians will only come through direct negotiations between the parties, and not through the imposition of terms by the United Nations.

“This puts Israel in a very poor negotiating position and is extremely unfair to all Israelis.”

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