Israel to do ‘all it takes’ to emerge unharmed by UN vote

In a highly unusual move, the U.S. Ambassador was later summoned as well

FILE - In this Dec. 11, 2016, file photo, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem. Netanyahu lashed out at President Barack Obama on Saturday, Dec. 24, accusing him of a "shameful ambush" at the United Nations over West Bank settlements and saying he is looking forward to working with his "friend" President-elect Donald Trump. Netanyahu's comments came a day after the United States broke with past practice and allowed the U.N. Security Council to condemn Israeli settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem as a "flagrant violation" of international law. (Abir Sultan, Pool via AP)
FILE - In this Dec. 11, 2016, file photo, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem. Netanyahu lashed out at President Barack Obama on Saturday, Dec. 24, accusing him of a "shameful ambush" at the United Nations over West Bank settlements and saying he is looking forward to working with his "friend" President-elect Donald Trump. Netanyahu's comments came a day after the United States broke with past practice and allowed the U.N. Security Council to condemn Israeli settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem as a "flagrant violation" of international law. (Abir Sultan, Pool via AP)

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel pressed forward with promises of retaliation and damage control Sunday following a U.N. vote last week on an anti-settlement resolution that passed thanks to an abstention by the U.S., Israel’s close ally.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry said it began summoning the ambassadors of countries who voted in favor of the resolution, including those from the permanent members of the Security Council — Russia, China, the U.K. and France.

In a highly unusual move, the U.S. Ambassador was later summoned as well, Israeli media reported.

Speaking to a weekly meeting of his Cabinet on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel was also considering a “plan of action” against the U.N., without elaborating.

“We will do all it takes so Israel emerges unscathed from this shameful decision,” Netanyahu said.

The resolution, which condemned Israeli settlement activities in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, sparked outrage in Israel and led to a new low in relations between Netanyahu and U.S. President Barack Obama. Israel has accused Obama of colluding with the Palestinians against the Jewish state.

“We feel betrayed, extremely frustrated. We are angry. This is not how you treat friends,” said Cabinet minister Yuval Steinitz.

The resolution’s immediate impact appears to be largely symbolic, but Israel fears it could open the door to an increase in international steps, including economic measures. Much of the international community considers the settlements illegal or illegitimate and an obstacle to peace.

In addition to the pledges made Sunday, Netanyahu canceled his upcoming meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May. Additionally, Israel recalled its ambassadors to New Zealand and Senegal for consultations and canceled a planned January visit to Israel by Senegal’s foreign minister. A visit by Ukraine’s prime minister has also been canceled in light of its support for the U.N. vote and Israel has pledged to cut millions of shekels in funding to certain U.N. agencies.

 

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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