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24.12.2016 00:28 News >> Update - Un Votes To Stop Israeli Settlements As US Abstains

Update - Un Votes To Stop Israeli Settlements As US Abstains

The U.S. on Friday abstained and did not veto a unanimous U.N. Security Council resolution that demands Israel stop settlement activities on Palestinian territories.

The U.S.'s move was a break from Washington's long-standing policy of supporting Israel at the U.N.

In the past, the U.S. has used its veto power on the issue; however, the Obama administration's decision not to veto the resolution was a first regarding a measure involving Israel and Palestine.

The decision was also the first time in more than 36 years the Council passed a resolution critical of Jewish settlements.

A number of high-ranking U.S. lawmakers had warned they would seek legislation to cut U.S.'s funding to the UN if the resolution passed.

"I urge the Obama Administration to veto the U.N. resolution," Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin said in a statement on his website. "This U.N. resolution is not the way to pursue peace between the Palestinian Authority and the State of Israel," he added.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said he would form a bipartisan coalition to reduce or suspend American aid to the UN.

The White House, however, has held that Israeli settlements are a hurdle to any potential solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

President-elect Donald Trump tried to intervene on the critical resolution after his aides were contacted by Israeli officials, according to reports.

"As to the U.N., things will be different after Jan. 20th," Trump said via Twitter following the vote.

Trump will take the oath of office on that date.

- Turkey welcomes decision

Turkey's Foreign Ministry has welcomed the decision "which confirms Israel's illegal settlements in occupied Palestinian lands are against the international law," according to an early Saturday statement published in the ministry website.

"We once again call Israel to immediately stop their illegal settlements in east Jerusalem and West Bank, and abide by the decision that reflects international community's joint approach," the statement added. -



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