UNSC approves anti-Israeli settlement resolution, US refrains Veto

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SHAFAQNA – For the first time in a long history, the US government refrained from vetoing an anti-Israeli resolution in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

The resolution condemns Israeli regime for its construction of settlements on occupied lands which are internationally recognized as illegal.

The resolution was drafted and presented by Egypt and only the US representative abstained from voting while all 14 other members of the UNSC voted for the resolution.

Tel Aviv had attempted to postpone the voting by pressuring Egypt through the US president-elect, Donald Trump.

Israel, wary of indications that the US might veto the resolution, turned to Trump for support , who has defended Israel against condemnation for the settlement construction, and slammed the Obama administration for the “shameful move” against Tel Aviv.

It is the first resolution on Israel and the Palestinians that the 15-member body has passed in about eight years.

The Security Council was initially scheduled to vote on the resolution on Thursday.

However, on Friday, Malaysia, New Zealand, Senegal and Venezuela put forward the draft again, which called on Israel to “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem” al-Quds.

It also said the construction of Israeli settlements has “no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law.”

Infuriated at Washington’s abstention, Israel’s envoy lashed out at the Obama administration and expressed hope that both Trump and the incoming UN secretary general, António Guterres, would establish closer ties with Tel Aviv.

“It was to be expected that Israel’s greatest ally would act in accordance with the values that we share and that they would have vetoed this disgraceful resolution,” said Danny Danon.

“I have no doubt that the new US administration and the incoming UN secretary-general will usher in a new era in terms of the UN’s relationship with Israel,” Dannon added.

Meanwhile, the chief Palestinian negotiator and secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Saeb Erekat, hailed the UN vote as a “victory for the justice of the Palestinian cause,” while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu voiced resentment.

In a statement released on Friday, the Israel prime minister said it “rejects this shameful anti-Israel resolution at the UN and will not abide by its terms,” adding that Obama failed to “protect Israel”.

“Israel looks forward to working with President-elect Trump and with all our friends in [US] Congress, Republicans and Democrats alike, to negate the harmful effects of this absurd resolution,” the statement said.

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