Israel said on Friday night it “rejects” a resolution by the UN Security Council that demands an end to the Jewish settlements, and will not obey the resolution.
A fierce statement issued by the office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the “despicable” resolution, which demands an immediate halt to the construction of settlements.
The resolution — advanced by Malaysia, New Zealand, Senegal, and Venezuela — was passed with 14 votes in favor and one abstention (the United States).
The Prime Minister’s Office declared that Israel “will not subordinate itself” to “this absurd” resolution.
The office also accused President Barack Obama of “acting behind the scene” to advance the motion, a notion previously rejected by the White House.
“Israel is looking forward to working with president-elect Trump and our friends in the Congress, Republicans and Democrats alike, to undo the damages of this decision,” the statement read.
In abstaining during the vote, the U.S. ignored calls from Trump to veto the motion.
In a tweet after the vote, Trump wrote: “As to the UN, things will be different after Jan. 20th.”
Israel was furious at the approval of the resolution. Cabinet minister Yuval Steinitz condemned the move. “The U.S. abandoned Israel, its only friend in the Middle East,” Steinitz told Channel 2 TV news.
The resolution demands Israel “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.” It states that the building of settlements by Israel has “no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law.”
The U.S., Israel’s closest ally, traditionally protects Israel from such motions.
B’Tselem, one of Israel’s largest human rights organizations, welcomed the resolution.
“Today’s United Nations Security Council resolution reaffirms international consensus that Israel’s settlements are illegal and harm Palestinian human rights,” the group said in a statement.
“It is not an ‘anti-Israeli’ resolution, but a balanced one, which rejects the occupation,” the statement read, adding that the group expects further international measures “for a better future for Israelis and Palestinians.”
About 500,000 Jewish settlers live in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, lands that Israel seized in the 1967 Mideast War and has been controlling ever since, despite international condemnations.
The Palestinians wish to build their future state in these lands.
The U.S. officially opposes the settlements and considers them as an obstacle to peace. The settlements are illegal under international law.