AND SO IT BEGINS: UN passes resolution calling for end to Israeli settlements

    By Nate  Published: December 23, 2016

    (The Hill) — The U.N. Security Council on Friday passed a resolution demanding an end to Israeli settlement building in occupied territories.

    The U.S. had the ability to veto the resolution but abstained from doing so, despite pressure from President-elect Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

    The Obama administration’s decision to let it pass represents a break from the longstanding U.S. policy of shielding Israel from U.N. reproaches.

    Israel’s settlements have been seen by critics as human rights violations and some say they are an obstacle to achieving peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

    Trump argued that the U.N. resolution would be a bigger impediment to negotiations between the two sides.

    “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,” the president-elect said in a statement Thursday.

    “This puts Israel in a very poor negotiating position and is extremely unfair to all Israelis.”

    The remainder of this article is available in its entirety at The Hill

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