Netanyahu Summons U.S. Ambassador to Protest U.N. Vote Condemning Settlements

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu summoned U.S. Ambassador Daniel Shapiro and 10 other ambassadors to Jerusalem on Sunday to protest a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank.

The United States had abstained from the vote on Friday rather than issue a veto, as it has in previous anti-Israel votes before the Security Council. Netanyahu accused the Obama administration of playing a major part in the measure’s conception and passage.

“From the information that we have, we have no doubt that the Obama administration initiated it, stood behind it, coordinated on the wording and demanded that it be passed,” Netanyahu said in a statement. “This is, of course, in complete contradiction of the traditional American policy that was committed to not trying to dictate terms for a permanent agreement, like any issue related to them in the Security Council, and, of course, the explicit commitment of President Obama himself, in 2011, to refrain from such steps.”

Ben Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security advisor for strategic communications, denied on Friday that the U.S. played any role in drafting the resolution. “The notion that we were somehow involved in drafting this is just not true,” Rhodes told reporters in a conference call.

President-elect Donald Trump had urged Obama to veto the resolution, and later condemned the U.N. and Obama for allowing the measure to pass.

The U.N. resolution passed against a backdrop of a stalled peace process, a Middle East facing a widespread terrorist threat, accelerated expansion and development of Jewish settlements on land Palestinians want for a future state, and terrorist incitement among Palestinian leaders. The Obama administration has repeatedly exhorted Israel to refrain from continued settlement construction or to block planned projects.

Last week, the Israeli government agreed that Amona, an outpost that Israel’s supreme court said was illegal and must be dismantled, would be moved to another location on the same West Bank hilltop. The solution averted a likely confrontation Sunday with Jewish extremists, but is considered by settlement opponents to be just as illegal.

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SOURCE:  
USA TODAY