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UN postpones vote on Israeli settlements

Netanyahu demanded that the US use its veto power to block the vote [Getty]

Date of publication: 22 December, 2016

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The decision on a draft resolution demanding that Israeli settlement activity cease has been postponed after Egypt requests more time for consultations.
A vote on a draft resolution demanding that Israel halt its settlement in Palestinian territories was postponed by the UN Security Council on Thursday.

The delay came after an Egyptian request to allow more time for consultations, however no new date for the vote has been set, diplomats said.

The draft, which was circulated by Egypt late on Wednesday, prompted Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to demand that the United States use its veto power to block the vote.

A similar resolution was vetoed by the United States in 2011, and it remained uncertain if the measure would be adopted this time.

US President-elect Donald Trump, who is viewed favourably by Israeli right-wingers, weighed in early Thursday echoing Netanyahu's call.

"The resolution being considered at the United Nations Security Council regarding Israel should be vetoed," Trump said in a statement.

"As the United States has long maintained, peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians will only come through direct negotiations between the parties, and not through the imposition of terms by the United Nations," he said.

"This puts Israel in a very poor negotiating position and is extremely unfair to all Israelis," Trump added.

Israeli settlements are widely seen as an obstruction to the peace process, which has stalled since 2014. This view has also been held by the US government under the Obama administration, however looks set to change when Trump takes office in January.

The UN maintains that settlements are illegal, however the building of homes and outposts on Palestinian land has continued.

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