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U.N. Approves Resolution Demanding Halt To Israeli Settlement Construction

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With the U.S. abstaining, the United Nations Security Council voted Friday to approve a resolution demanding an immediate halt to Israeli settlement construction.

The Security Council approved the resolution with fourteen votes in favor and the U.S. abstaining, reportedly resulting in a round of applause.

The resolution calls on Israel to immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.

The abstention by the U.S. has been described as a parting shot by President Barack Obama, who has been a vocal critic of settlement construction in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The U.S. has vetoed similar resolutions in the past, arguing that the issue should be dealt with in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

The resolution was put forward by New Zealand, Malaysia, Venezuela and Senegal a day after Egypt withdrew it under pressure from Israel and President-elect Donald Trump.

Trump had called on the Obama administration to veto the resolution, claiming it would put Israel in a very poor negotiating position and calling it extremely unfair to all Israelis.

A number of U.S. lawmakers have also expressed opposition to the resolution, with Senator Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., threatening to pull funding for the U.N. if it was approved.

Following the vote, Senator John McCain, R-Ariz., called the passage of the resolution "another shameful chapter in the bizarre anti-Israel history of the United Nations."

"The abstention of the United States has made us complicit in this outrageous attack, and marks a troubling departure from our nation's long, bipartisan history of defending our ally Israel in the United Nations," McCain said.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., also called the vote a "blow to peace" and said Republicans would work to reverse the damage done by the Obama administration and rebuild the U.S. alliance with Israel.

by RTT Staff Writer

For comments and feedback: editorial@rttnews.com

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