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Israel recalls envoys from 2 states over UN resolution

Israel summoned envoys from Senegal and New Zealand over anti-settlement vote

December 25, 2016 at 2:02 pm

Image of the UN Security Council resolution that called Israel to stop settlement activities on Palestinian territories on December 23 2016 [Volkan Furuncu / Anadolu Agency]

Israel has summoned ambassadors from Senegal and New Zealand following their support for a UN resolution condemning Israeli settlement building in the occupied territories.

On Friday, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution demanding Israel to halt settlement building and expansion in the Palestinian territories. The resolution, which was co-sponsored by Malaysia, New Zealand, Senegal and Venezuela, was passed by a 14-0 vote after the United States abstained.

“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had recalled Israel’s ambassadors in Senegal and New Zealand for consultation, in response to the UN resolution on settlements,” his office said in a statement.

According to the statement, Netanyahu also cancelled an upcoming visit by the Senegalese foreign minister to Israel and abolished Israeli aid programs to Senegal.

Netanyahu had harshly criticised the anti-settlement resolution, describing it as “anti-Israel” and “shameful”. “The Obama administration not only failed to protect Israel against this gang-up at the UN, it colluded with it behind the scenes,” he said, vowing that Israel will not comply with the resolution.

The last UN Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlement building was adopted in 1979. The US vetoed a similar resolution in 2011, which was the sole veto cast by the Obama administration.

Read: Israel to re-assess UN ties after settlement resolution, says Netanyahu

Israeli outrage

The UN resolution has brought Netanyahu under fire for his handling of the anti-settlement vote.

Former Prime Minister Ehud Barak described the resolution as an “unprecedented failure at the UN security council”. “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu must immediately fire his Foreign Minister,” Barak said.

Israeli left-wing parties blamed Netanyahu for deteriorating relations between Israel and US.

Former Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, for her part, called for resuming peace talks with the Palestinians, which collapsed in 2014 over Israel’s refusal to halt settlement building. “We must resume the peace talks with the Palestinians in order to avoid further anti-Israeli resolution at the UN security council,” she said.

MEMO Commentary: The UN must not let Resolution 2334 be squandered