Israel summons 10 foreign ambassadors over UN vote against settlements

Israel summons 10 foreign ambassadors over UN vote against settlements

Sun Dec 25, 2016 5:54PM

The Israeli regime has called in the ambassadors of ten countries which voted in favor of a UN Security Council resolution, calling on Tel Aviv to halt its settlement expansion on the occupied Palestinian lands.

The ambassadors of Britain, China, Russia, France, Egypt, Japan, Uruguay, Spain, Ukraine and New Zealand were summoned to the foreign ministry on Sunday.

During an Israeli cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu again criticized Washington for its stance toward the UN Security Council’s decision.

The Israeli premier also accused the administration of US President Barack Obama of initiating the resolution, saying “According to our information, we have no doubt the Obama administration initiated it, stood behind it, coordinated the wording and demanded it be passed.”

Netanyahu said the Tel Aviv regime “agreed that the Security Council was not the place to resolve this issue,”

“We knew that going there would make negotiations harder and drive peace farther away. As I told John Kerry (the US secretary of state) on Thursday, Friends don’t take friends to the Security Council.”

On Friday, Netanyahu blamed Washington for cooperating with Palestinians to push for the adoption of the resolution. The White House has denied the allegation.

Security Council Resolution 2334, passed on Friday with unanimous approval from 14 members with the United States abstaining, called on Israel to “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory,” including East Jerusalem al-Quds.

The resolution states that the settlement building has “no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law.”

Palestinian factions in the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip have collectively welcomed the resolution, with Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki describing the vote as a “victory for the Palestinian people.”

Prior to the vote, Tel Aviv attempted to block the vote and prompt a veto by its strongest ally, the United States.

More than half a million Israelis live in over 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds.