Obama ‘abandoning’ Israel by pushing UN vote, official says

A crane is seen next to homes in a Jewish settlement known to Israelis as Har Homa and to Palestinians as Jabal Abu Ghneim, in an area of the West Bank that Israel captured in a 1967 war and annexed to the city of Jerusalem, in this January 3, 2014 file pic. — Reuters pic
A crane is seen next to homes in a Jewish settlement known to Israelis as Har Homa and to Palestinians as Jabal Abu Ghneim, in an area of the West Bank that Israel captured in a 1967 war and annexed to the city of Jerusalem, in this January 3, 2014 file pic. — Reuters pic

JERUSALEM, Dec 23 — Barack Obama’s outgoing US administration is behind plans for a new UN Security Council vote on Israeli settlements, an Israeli official said today, calling it an “abandonment” of the Jewish state.

The UN Security Council was expected to vote later today on demanding Israel halt settlements after four countries agreed to present a draft resolution that was withdrawn by Egypt, diplomats said.

New Zealand, Malaysia, Senegal and Venezuela stepped in after Egypt, under pressure from US President-elect Donald Trump, decided not to move forward with its push for a vote at the council.

The Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry were “behind this shameful move against Israel at the UN”.

“President Obama could declare his willingness to veto this resolution in an instant but instead is pushing it,” the official said.

“This is an abandonment of Israel which breaks decades of US policy of protecting Israel at the UN and undermines the prospects of working with the next administration of advancing peace.”

Egypt yesterday requested that the vote be postponed, a day after it submitted the draft text to the council, triggering immediate calls from Israel for a US veto to block the measure. — AFP

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