Defying UN, Israel prepares to build more settlements

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NEW YORK, Dec 27 (APP): Despite a resounding defeat at the UN, the Israeli government has said that it would move ahead with building thousands of settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, The New York Times reported Tuesday.
Just a few days after the United Nations Security Council voted to condemn Israeli settlements, Jerusalems municipal government signaled that it would not back down:
The city intends to approve 600 housing units in the predominantly Palestinian eastern section of town on Wednesday in what a top official called a first installment on 5,600 new homes.
Israel also warned nations against further action, declaring that it does not “turn the other cheek”, the newspaper reported.
This was following the vote, passed on December 23, by a 14-0 majority, with the US abstaining, demanding Israel to “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem”.
US President-elect Donald Trump pushed for the resolution to be vetoed, arguing such a move puts Israel in a very poor negotiating position and is extremely unfair to all Israelis.
Just days after, the Jerusalem’s government signalled that it would not back down.
The defiant posture reflected a bristling anger among Israel’s pro-settlement political leaders, who not only blamed the US for failing to block the Council resolution, but also claimed that President Barack Obama’s team orchestrated it, according to the Times.
American officials strongly denied the claim, but the sides seem poised for more weeks of conflict until Obama hands over the presidency to Donald Trump.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also lashed out at the Security Council countries by curbing diplomatic contacts, recalling envoys, cutting off aid and summoning the American ambassador for a scolding, the report said.
He cancelled a planned visit this week by Ukraine’s Prime Minister even as he expressed concern on Monday that Obama was planning more action at the UN before his term ends next month.