- Title: Netanyahu thanks U.S. congress for condemning U.N. settlement vote
- Date: 6th January 2017
- Summary: JERUSALEM (JANUARY 5, 2017) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU'S RESIDENCE SIGN ON FENCE READING 'PRIME MINISTER'S OFFICE'
- Embargoed: 21st January 2017 14:14
- Keywords: Netanyahu Settlements U.S. Congress UNSC Palestinians Israel
- Location: JERUSALEM
- City: JERUSALEM
- Country: Israel
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace
- Reuters ID: LVA0015XY0Z7R
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday (January 6) thanked the U.S. congress for voting to condemn an earlier United Nations Security Council resolution against Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territories.
In a video shot by Israel's Governmental Press Office, Netanyahu thanks members of the congress and the American people for their support in Israel.
"Democrats and Republicans alike know that the Western Wall isn't occupied territory. They voted to either repeal the resolution at the U.N. or change it, and that is exactly what we intend to do. I want to thank the U.S. House of Representatives which reflects the tremendous support Israel enjoys among the American people. Thank you America, thank you congress," he said.
The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a resolution on Thursday (January 5) to condemn an earlier United Nations Security Council resolution which had demanded an end to Israeli settlement building.
House Resolution 11, introduced by Republican Ed Roce of California and supported by roughly 30 Democratic representatives, passed 342-80.
The resolution broadly said the U.N. vote from December 23 was an obstacle to Israeli-Palestinian peace.
It criticised the administration of President Barack Obama for abandoning long-standing U.S. foreign policy by abstaining, called for repeal of the resolution and provided measures for the incoming administration of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump to limit the effects of the resolution, according to the House Foreign Affairs Committee website.
U.N. Resolution 2334 was able to pass the 15-member council because the United States broke with a long-standing approach of diplomatically shielding Israel and did not wield its veto power as it had on many times before.
Trump had joined Israeli leaders in attacking the Obama administration's decision to abstain and make passage of the anti-settlement resolution possible.
Israel for decades has pursued a policy of constructing Jewish settlements on territory captured by Israel in a 1967 war with its Arab neighbours including the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.
Most countries view Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank and East Jerusalem as illegal and an obstacle to peace. Israel disagrees, citing a biblical connection to the land.
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