Israeli PM slams Obama over UN vote on settlements

Jerusalem, Dec 25 (IANS) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lashed at the Obama administration on Saturday, after a US abstention in a UN vote that passed a resolution demanding an end to Israeli settlement construction.

“The Obama administration has carried out an underhanded and an anti-Israel manoeuvre at the UN Security Council,” Netanyahu said of the resolution passed by the 15-member body on Friday.

The hardline Prime Minister also slammed the motion as “distorted and shameful”, Xinhua news agency reported.

Israel has recalled its envoys in New Zealand and Senegal, which together with Venezuela and Malaysia, submitted the resolution that was passed by a 14-0 majority.

Netanyahu suggested that Israel might sever ties with the UN, saying he had already ordered to cut funds of 30 million shekels ($8 million) to five “exceptionally hostile” UN bodies.

The Israeli cabinet has vowed to respond with a full annexation of settlement blocs.

The UN vote came in the wake of the Regulation Bill, which the Israeli parliament approved in its first out of three readings almost three weeks ago to legalize Jewish settlements built on occupied Palestinian lands.

Meanwhile, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said that it welcomed the UN Security Council resolution that demands an end to the Israeli settlement building in occupied Palestinian territories.–IANS

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