Home Latest News Israel Strikes Back After U.N. Settlement Vote

Israel Strikes Back After U.N. Settlement Vote

by AFP

Abir Sultan—AFP

Government officials suggest full annexation of settlements as retaliation against global body rebuke.

Israel on Sunday summoned representatives of states that supported a U.N. resolution demanding it halt settlement activity, while cutting civilian coordination with Palestinians by way of rebuke.

Foreign ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said that the 14 envoys of U.N. Security Council members would visit the ministry in Jerusalem throughout the day. The Council passed the measure on Friday after the United States abstained, enabling the adoption of the first resolution since 1979 to condemn Israel over its settlement policy. The U.S. envoy was not summoned.

The resolution demands “Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem.” It says settlements have “no legal validity” and are “dangerously imperiling the viability of the two-state solution.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who had rejected the resolution as a “shameful blow against Israel,” repeated on Sunday the Israeli claim that U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry were behind the resolution. “We have no doubt that the Obama administration initiated it, stood behind it, coordinated the drafts and demanded to pass it,” Netanyahu said at the beginning of the weekly cabinet meeting. “This is of course in total contradiction to the traditional American policy of not trying to impose conditions of a final resolution,” Netanyahu said, “and of course the explicit commitment of President Obama himself in 2011 to avoid such measures.”

While the resolution contains no sanctions, Israeli officials are concerned it could widen the possibility of prosecution at the International Criminal Court. They are also worried it could encourage some countries to impose sanctions against Israeli settlers and goods produced in the settlements.

Earlier on Sunday, army radio reported that Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman ordered the Israeli security establishment to cease to all cooperation on civilian matters with the Palestinians, while retaining security coordination. Israeli officials refused to comment on the report.

The measures taken on Sunday join Netanyahu’s order to review engagements at the United Nations, including funding for U.N. agencies and the presence of U.N. representatives in Israel.

Rightwing Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said Saturday night that Israel should “announce a full annexation of settlement blocs” in response to the resolution. Education Minister Naftali Bennett of the far-right Jewish Home told army radio that his party would “soon propose a bill to annex Maale Adumim,” a settlement city east of Jerusalem.

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