Israel has reportedly suspended ties with 12 UN Security Council nations – Business Insider


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu looks on as he opens the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem April 10, 2016.  REUTERS/Gali Tibbon/Pool
Israeli
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu opening the weekly cabinet
meeting in Jerusalem.

Thomson
Reuters


Israel’s Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that it was
“reducing” working ties with 12 of the UN Security Council
countries that
voted to pass a resolution
urging Israel to stop building
settlements on occupied Palestinian land.

Foreign ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon told reporters
that Israel was “temporarily reducing” visits and work with
embassies,
refuting reports that Israel had completely
suspended working
ties with the countries. He did not provide further details.

Deputy foreign minister Tzipi Hotovely
said that
the reduction in ties was meant to show the nations
that “you can’t take Israel for granted.”

The Foreign Ministry confirmed that Israel was “reducing” the
ties two days after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu summoned
10 of the nations’ ambassadors to Jerusalem to personally
reprimand them for the vote.


The Times of Israel initially reported
 that foreign
ministers and ambassadors from Britain, France, Russia, China,
Japan, Ukraine, Angola, Egypt, Uruguay, Spain, Senegal, and New
Zealand would not be received at Israel’s Foreign Ministry amid
the suspension, and that they would not be granted an
audience with Netanyahu.

It is unclear whether the “reduction” in ties will carry the same
terms.

The US abstained from the UN vote on Friday, which has
further increased tensions
between Netanyahu and President
Barack Obama stemming from the US-led nuclear negotiations with
Iran and Obama’s longstanding opposition to Israel’s settlement
policy.

Netanyahu called the US’s refusal to veto the resolution
“shameful” and “underhanded,” and on Sunday he held a public
cabinet meeting in which he accused Obama of conspiring with
Palestine
to craft the resolution
and bring it to a vote at the UN.

“According to our information, we have no doubt the Obama
administration initiated it (the resolution), stood behind it,
coordinated the wording, and demanded it be passed,” Netanyahu
said.


samantha power
The
US’s ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power.

Reuters

The White House has denied that allegation, reiterating that it
allowed the resolution to pass — instead of wielding its veto
power — because it is concerned that Israel’s settlement
construction in Palestinian territory is not conducive to
negotiations over a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict.

Explaining her decision to abstain from the vote, the US’s
ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power,
said that the
US had “been sending the message that the
settlements must stop, privately and publicly, for five decades”
and that allowing its passage was “in line with bipartisan US
policy.”

She added that the US was still committed to Israel’s security
and working toward a two-state solution.

Palestinians say the West Bank and East Jerusalem should be part
of their future state, but nearly 600,000 Israelis have settled
there in what the Palestinians say is an illegal occupation of
their territory.

Palestine’s ambassador to the UN said that the vote would
“alleviate the suffering of our people” and that Palestinian
appeals to stop the settlements had “been calls for the council
to contribute” to long-term peace in the region and in the world.
He said “urgent efforts are needed” to hold Israel accountable
for its settlement expansion.

The 15-member UN Security Council most recently adopted a
resolution on Israeli settlements 36 years ago. The chamber broke
into spontaneous applause after the latest resolution was passed,
with 14 members voting “yes” and only the US abstaining.


The resolution
“condemned all measures aimed at altering the
demographic composition, character, and status of the Palestinian
territory, occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem” and
requested the UN secretary-general “to report to the council
every three months on the implementation of the provisions of the
present resolution.”

“Over decades American administrations and Israeli governments
disagreed about settlements, but we agreed that the security
council was not the place to resolve this issue,” Netanyahu said
during his weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday.

“We knew that going there would make negotiations harder and
drive peace farther away,” he said. “As I told John Kerry on
Thursday, ‘Friends don’t take friends to the Security Council.'”

This article has been updated.

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