21 March 2018

Netanyahu: "UN settlement is a declaration of war"

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told New Zealand's foreign minister that his country's sponsoring of the UN anti-settlement resolution was a "declaration of war". reports citing to Hareetz.

Mr Netanyahu has also lashed out at President Barack Obama after Friday's Security Council vote, on which the United States' abstention marked a break with tradition, and called the action a "shameful ambush".

The Security Council voted to condemn settlement building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem as a "flagrant violation of international law" and demanded Israel “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory”, pointing out that the international community views any Israeli construction over the agreed 1967 Green Line as illegal.

In a personal phone call Mr Netanyahu told New Zealand foreign minister Murray McCully: "This is a scandalous decision. I'm asking that you not support it and not promote it.

"If you continue to promote this resolution from our point of view it will be a declaration of war. It will rupture the relations and there will be consequences."

Mr McCully reportedly refused to back down and said the resolution was consistent with New Zealand policy.

Israel has recalled its ambassadors to New Zealand and Senegal, and cancelled aid to the latter country.

The resolution was put forward by New Zealand, Senegal, Malaysia and Venezuela, taking place just a day after Egypt withdrew it following significant pressure from both Israel and President-elect Donald Trump.

Mr Netanyahu has said Israel will not abide by the ruling. He added:

"At a time when the Security Council does nothing to stop the slaughter of half a million people in Syria, it disgracefully gangs up on the one true democracy in the Middle East, Israel, and calls the Western Wall ‘occupied territory’".

2016.12.28 / 14:12
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