Egypt withdraws UN resolution against Israel

24 Dec 2016 | Written by Supriya ; Edited by NewsBytes Desk

A UN resolution drafted by Egypt, condemning Israel for constructing settlements in territories claimed by Palestine, was withdrawn just hours before the vote.

Donald Trump discussed the issue with Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi; he also tweeted in support of a US veto against the said resolution.

Israeli Ambassador, Ron Dermer, expressed immense gratitude for Donald Trump's intervention in vetoing "anti-Israel resolution".

In context: Donald Trump stalls UN resolution on Israel

WhatUN Resolution against Israel

UN resolution drafted by Egypt demanded that Israel halt construction of settlements in West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The resolution said it breached international law as these territories are claimed by Palestine.

Israeli settlements are seen as a hurdle to peace efforts and UN has steadfastly maintained that they are illegal.

In recent months, UN officials have reported a sharp increase in construction.

AboutUS vote on Israel resolution

US is opposed to Israeli settlements however as permanent member of UN security council, it has normally vetoed resolutions critical of Israel.

Given the acrimony between US President Barack Obama and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, Israelis suspected that before demitting office, Obama administration might abstain to vote and let resolution against Israel pass.

The resolution was to be put to vote on December 22.

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WhyIsrael seeks Donald Trump's intervention

According to officials in the know, the Obama administration intended to abstain from the vote at UN.

After failing to persuade Obama's administration to veto the resolution, the Israeli government reached out to Donald Trump's 'transition team' and requested his intervention to block the UN resolution.

On the Israelis' behest, Donald Trump then spoke to Egyptian president Abdul Fattah al-Sisi in this regard.

24 Dec 2016Egypt withdraws UN resolution against Israel

President-elect Donald Trump's statement

"The US 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."

25 Dec 2016US allows UN condemnation of Israeli settlements

Ignoring protests by Israel and calls by Donald Trump to the contrary, the US allowed the UN Security Council to adopt a resolution calling for an end to Israeli settlements in Palestinian territories.

The resolution was passed 14-0 with US abstaining, calling the settlements "illegal even under Israeli law."

Israeli officials accused the US of cooking up "an extreme anti-Israeli resolution behind Israel's back."

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26 Dec 2016Israeli PM summons US Ambassador over UN vote

Angered by the anti-settlement vote at the UN, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu summoned the US Ambassador to Israel, Daniel Shapiro, to discuss the US's abstention at the vote.

Sources added that envoys of 10 other nations were also called and reprimanded by Netanyahu.

Netanyahu has accused the Obama administration of orchestrating the vote and manipulating it to be passed.

29 Dec 2016Kerry condemns Israel, Trump defends

US Secretary of State John Kerry accused Israel of jeopardizing middle-east peace by constructing settlements on Palestinian land; Israeli PM Netanyahu accused Kerry of showing bias.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump lambasted the Obama administration for creating new roadblocks by mistreating Israel; he tweeted, "Stay strong Israel, January 20th is fast approaching!"

The sudden change in US's policy in the middle-east is unsettling for the region.

23 Jan 2017Donald Trump invites Israel's PM to Washington

US President Donald Trump has extended a formal invitation to the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu to visit him in Washington in February.

According to the statement, "a final date for the visit will be set in the days ahead."

Netanyahu's office said, "The two leaders discussed the nuclear deal with Iran, the peace process with Palestinians and other issues."

26 Jan 2017Israel to build 2500 new settlement homes

In the second such announcement since Trump assumed office, Israel's Defence Ministry stated that it will build 2500 new settlement homes in the West Bank.

The plans were authorized by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman and are reportedly to fulfil a demand for new housing.

The announcement did not mention when construction would begin or be completed.

07 Feb 2017Israel passes controversial bill legalizing Jewish settlements

The Israeli parliament has passed a law that retroactively legalizes thousands of Jewish homes built on privately owned Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank, further diminishing chances of achieving longstanding peace.

Opponents have dubbed the bill legalizes "theft," "land grab" and is unconstitutional.

The bill was supported by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's party, now emboldened by US President Trump's softer stance on Israel.