Israel is lashing out in the wake of last week’s United Nations resolution that demanded the country put an end to settlement activity on occupied Palestinian territory.
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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu summoned Israel’s U.S. ambassador Sunday for a private meeting, while close allies to the right-wing prime minister claimed that President Barack Obama was secretly behind the resolution—and promised to share “evidence” of Obama’s alleged role with president-elect Donald Trump, whose choice for ambassador to Israel signals an extremely pro-Israel stance.
“Israel’s threat to present ‘evidence’ on a sitting president, and one of Israel’s closest allies, to an incoming presidential team—and to do it so publicly—appears almost unprecedented,” the Guardian observed.
Netanyahu commented to his cabinet Sunday: “[A]s I told John Kerry on Thursday, friends don’t take friends to the Security Council.”
Israel has also suspended or reduced ties with the 12 countries who voted for the resolution, summoning its ambassadors to China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, Angola, Egypt, Japan, Spain, Ukraine, and Uruguay, according to CNN. The country further reduced its ties with New Zealand and Senegal, which both brought the resolution to a vote Friday. The government has also asked officials to refrain from traveling to countries that voted for the resolution.
And the country announced a plan late Monday to ramp up its settlement activity in defiance of the resolution, the New York Times reported. Jerusalem is planning “to approve 600 housing units in the predominantly Palestinian eastern section of town on Wednesday in what a top official called a first installment on 5,600 new homes,” the Times noted.
“Israel is a country with national pride, and we do not turn the other cheek,” Netanyahu said about his retaliation, according to the newspaper. “This is a responsible, measured, and vigorous response, the natural response of a healthy people that is making it clear to the nations of the world that what was done at the U.N. is unacceptable to us.”
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