Israel on Tuesday said it will curtail ties with countries that voted for a United Nations resolution condemning settlements on Palestinian territory, Al Jazeera reported. A spokesperson for the Israeli foreign ministry said that the country was “temporarily reducing” official visits and work with embassies, but did not provide any more details.
Later, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said that no country could take Jerusalem “for granted”, even as she expressed concern that Israel was missing out on opportunities to explain its position on the issue of settlements. Meanwhile, ambassadors to Israel from countries which voted for the resolution were summoned by the country’s government. US Ambassador Dan Shapiro was also issued a summons. Washington had abstained from the vote.
Jerusalem has also threatened to provide United States president-elect Donald Trump with evidence that outgoing President Barack Obama coordinated the Security Council resolution, The Guardian reported. This comes after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday accused Obama of a “shameful ambush” because of the US’ decision to abstain from voting on the resolution.
A spokesperson for Netanyahu told Fox News on Sunday that the UN decision was caused by “deliberate push by the United States”. “We have rather ironclad information from sources in both the Arab world and internationally,” David Keyes said. Separately, Trump said the UN had “such great potential, but right now it is just a club for people to get together, talk and have a good time”.
On Saturday, Netanyahu said he had “instructed the foreign ministry to complete within a month a re-evaluation of all our contacts with the United Nations, including the funding of UN institutions and the presence of UN representatives in Israel”. The prime minister said the US’ abstention was “in complete contrast” to commitments made to Israel by Washington.
While most of the international community including the US consider Israeli settlements in the West Bank an obstacle to peace efforts, Washington has vetoed previous resolutions condemning the constructions. This is the first time since 1979 that the Security Council passed a resolution criticising the occupation.