UN passes resolution on ending Israeli settlements
The UN Security Council has voted in favour of a resolution demanding the halt of settlement activity by Israel on occupied Palestinian territory with the United States notably abstaining.
The resolution was put forward at the 15-member council for a vote on Friday by New Zealand, Malaysia, Venezuela and Senegal a day after Egypt withdrew it under pressure from Israel and US president-elect Donald Trump.
Israel and Trump had called on the United States to veto the measure.
It was adopted with 14 votes in favour, to a round of applause. It is the first resolution the Security Council has adopted on Israel and the Palestinians in nearly eight years.
The United States’ abstention was the biggest rebuke in recent history to longstanding ally Israel, allowing the Security Council to condemn its settlements and continuing construction in Palestinian territory as a “flagrant violation” of international law.
The resolution said Israel’s settlements on Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, have “no legal validity.”
It demanded a halt to “all Israeli settlement activities,” saying this “is essential for salvaging the two-state solution”.