U.N. Security Council demands end to Israel settlement building: US abstains

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UNITED NATIONS, Dec 24 (APP): With United States abstaining, the U.N. Security Council on Friday afternoon approved a resolution demanding Israel stop building settlements on occupied Palestinian territory, in what was seen as a reversal of U.S. practice to protect Israel from United Nations action.
The resolution was submitted 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 U.S. President-elect Donald Trump.
Israel and Trump had called on the United States to veto the measure.
The resolution was adopted with 14 votes in favor, 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 departing Obama administration has been highly critical of Israel’s settlement building, describing it as an impediment to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Trump has made clear that he will take a far more sympathetic approach to Israel when his administration assumes office in a month.
Trump’s comments on the issue amounted to his most direct intervention on United States foreign policy during his transition to power.