Israel's Netanyahu: US should veto United Nations resolution, back Israel on settlements

The Israeli Prime Minister has urged the USA to veto a draft UN Security Council resolution that aims to condemn settlement activities on occupied Palestinian lands.

In a post on Twitter, Netanyahu said the United States "should veto the anti-Israel resolution at the U.N. Security Council on Thursday".

It said that the council would "reiterate its demand that Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and that it fully respect all of its legal obligations in this regard".

"We expect our greatest ally not to allow this one-sided and anti-Israel resolution to be adopted by the council", Danon said in a statement.

The U.S. vetoed a similar resolution in 2011, but it was not immediately clear how U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power would vote Thursday. A White House official declined comment.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas a year ago stressed the need for urgent adoption of the United Nations draft resolution condemning Israeli settlements.

Absent a veto by one of the five permanent members, a Security Council resolution needs nine votes to pass. Trump has indicated that he would support Israel on many critical issues and would not put pressure on it to engage in talks with the Palestinians. However, US authorities indicated that Obama is unlikely to take any major action regarding the Israel-Palestine peace process before leaving office.

The United Nations, as well as the USA and most of the global community, maintains that settlements are illegal.

A general view shows buildings under construction in the illegal Israeli settlement of Har Homa in the occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds on March 7, 2016. The occupied territories have been seeking full independence from Israel for decades, with Palestinians demanding full recognition as a sovereign state from the United Nations and the global community. The UN has condemned the draft legislation as "unequivocally illegal", saying the move would be in contravention of worldwide law.

Israel disputes that settlements are illegal and says their final status should be determined in any future talks on Palestinian statehood.

Ever since its 1967 occupation and later annexation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Jerusalem al-Quds, Israel has been either manifestly or insidiously grabbing Palestinian land by expanding settlements and forcing out Palestinians under various pretexts.

"It's unusual that while thousands are massacred in Syria, the Security Council is devoting time to debating censuring the only democracy in the Middle East".

The "Quartet" sponsoring the stalled Middle East peace process - the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations - said in July that Israel should stop building settlements.

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