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UN resolution condemning Israeli settlements could pass, fears Netanyahu

UN Security Council [file photo]
UN Security Council [file photo]

Israel has urged the United States to veto a UN Security Council draft resolution calling for an immediate halt to settlement building in occupied Palestine.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted in the early hours of today: “The US should veto the anti-Israel resolution at the UN Security Council on Thursday.”

Relations between Netanyahu and the outgoing US President Barak Obama have been very rocky, which has raised concern that Obama might take a parting shot at a policy he has long opposed.

Hours later, Trump, posting on Twitter and Facebook, backed fellow conservative Netanyahu on one of the most contentious issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the pursuit – effectively stalled since 2014 – of a two-state solution.

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

“As the United States has long maintained, peace between the Israelis and 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,” he wrote.

After Trump’s statement, a US administration official said: “We have no comment at this time.”

Egypt circulated the draft yesterday evening and the 15-member council is due to vote at 20:00 GMT today.

The resolution would demand Israel “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem”.

The US has repeatedly vetoed UN Security Council resolutions that are critical of Israel but it is unclear how the United States will vote this time.

Reuters reported that the White House declined to comment, adding that some diplomats hope Obama will allow Security Council action to go through by abstaining on the vote.

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