UNSC Demands End to Illegal Israeli Settlements

UNSC Demands End to Illegal Israeli SettlementsUNSC Demands End to Illegal Israeli Settlements

The UN Security Council adopted a resolution demanding an end to Israeli settlement building.

The United States on Friday allowed the resolution to be adopted defying heavy pressure from long-time ally Israel and president-elect Donald Trump for Washington to wield its veto. A US abstention paved the way for the 15-member council to approve the resolution, with 14 votes in favor, prompting applause in the council chamber.

The action by President Barack Obama's administration follows growing US frustration over the unrelenting construction of Jewish settlements on land Palestinians want for a future independent state.

The US action just weeks before Obama ends eight years as president broke with the longstanding American approach of shielding Israel, which receives more than $3 billion in annual US military aid, from such action.

The resolution, put forward by New Zealand, Malaysia, Venezuela and Senegal a day after Egypt withdrew it under pressure from Israel and Trump, was the first adopted by the council on Israel and the Palestinians in nearly eight years. Obama also faced pressure from US lawmakers, fellow Democrats as well as Republicans, to veto the measure, and was hit with bipartisan criticism after the vote.

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