Netanyahu Reduces Diplomatic Ties of Countries Supporting UN Resolution

United Nations Security Council meeting in New York. (Photo: Anadolu Agency, via MEMO)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Sunday has reportedly begun the process of limiting diplomatic relations with countries that had voted in favor of an anti-settlement resolution passed by the UN Security Council last week.

According to Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Netanyahu ordered Israel’s Foreign Ministry to limit diplomatic cooperation with countries that had voted in favor, as an senior Israeli official told Haaretz that Israeli ministers would be encouraged to limit travel, and to restrict the foreign ministers from visits to Israel.

While the foreign ministers would “not be received” at Israel’s Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, the Israeli ambassadors to these countries would continue their visits to the respective countries in order to maintain contact, Haaretz reported.

Resolution 2334, which was passed after 14 member states voting in favor and the United States abstained from the vote, was drafted by Egypt alongside Palestine and demands that Israel completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, while emphasizing that the establishment of settlements by Israel is a direct violation of international and holds no legal legitimacy.

Israeli leadership has reacted with outrage and defiance since the UNSC approved the resolution, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying that Israel “would not abide by the terms” of the “shameful anti-Israel resolution,” and reportedly summoned the ambassadors of the UN Security Council member states to personally reprimand each of them on Christmas day.

Days after the passing of the resolution, reports emerged that Israel’s Local Planning and Building Committee of the Jerusalem municipality was expected to approve some 5,600 housing units in East Jerusalem for illegal settlements, in direct defiance of the international community’s clear condemnation of Israel’s settlement construction at the UN.

The reports said that the committee will approve 2,600 housing units in the East Jerusalem settlement of Gilo, 2,600 others in Givat HaMatos, and 400 units in the Ramat Shlomo settlement.

These approvals are in addition to plans for some 3,000 settler units that have been advanced since the start 2016, according to Israeli settlement watchdog Peace Now, including hundreds of existing units that were “retroactively legalized” after formerly being considered illegal under Israeli domestic law.

The number of settlers living in the occupied West Bank has increased from 281,100 in 2008 to 385,900 in 2015, excluding those residing in occupied East Jerusalem. The Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem (ARIJ) estimates that between 500,000 and 600,000 Israeli settlers currently reside in West Bank and East Jerusalem settlements.

(Ma’an, PC, Social Media)

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