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Israel 'reducing ties' with nations over settlements

- Foreign ministry advises officials to limit visits to countries that voted against settlement expansion.
December 27th, 2016 | Tags:
A construction site is seen in the West Bank settlement of Givat Zeev, near Jerusalem [Baz Ratner/Reuter]

Israel's foreign ministry has said the country is "reducing" ties with nations that voted for last week's UN Security Council resolution demanding a halt to settlement building in Palestinian territory.

Foreign ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said in a message to journalists that Israel was "temporarily reducing" visits and work with embassies, without providing further details. 

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said on Tuesday she was concerned that Israel would miss opportunities to explain its position by cancelling visits, but that she supported making clear "you can't take Israel for granted".

Israel has been on the defensive since the vote, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who also serves as foreign minister, denouncing the resolution as "shameful". 

Planned visits by foreign dignitaries were cancelled in the wake of the decision, and ambassadors of countries that voted for the resolution were summoned. The US ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro, was also summoned after the US abstained from the vote.

Countries should not be able to "make pilgrimages to Israel to learn about fighting terror, cyber-defence and agricultural technologies, and in the UN do whatever you want," Hotovely told army radio.

Israeli media reported that Netanyahu has asked officials to visit the countries that voted for the resolution as little as possible for now.

By deciding not to veto the move, the United States enabled the adoption of the first UN resolution since 1979 to condemn Israel over its settlement policy.

The text was passed with support from all remaining members of the 15-member council. 

Abbas hopeful

Israel's increasing anger at the vote came as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas hoped the forthcoming Middle East conference in France would set a mechanism to end Israeli settlements in territory Palestinians claim for a state.

Abbas told a meeting of his Fatah party late on Monday that the resolution "paves the way for the international peace conference".

France hosts a conference on January 15 where countries may endorse a framework for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

Netanyahu opposes such activity, saying only direct negotiations will produce a solution. He has called on Abbas to meet for talks, but Abbas has refused unless settlement construction ends.

Rami Saleh, a director at the Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Centre (JLAC), told Al Jazeera that despite Israel's reactionary tactics, the resolution would not be respected.

"What we are seeing is not new. It's a continuation of Israel's policies throughout recent years. Israel does not respect the UN and this decision is an extension of its commitment to refuse to abide by international law," he said.

"In 2016, we saw the construction of almost 1,600 settler homes in Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank. This number is four times the number of illegal homes constructed in 2014."

According to Haaretz newspaper, the Jerusalem Local Planning and Construction Committee is expected to approve permits to build 618 new homes in Jewish neighbourhoods across the Green Line on Wednesday.

While the UN resolution contains no sanctions, Israeli officials are concerned it could widen the possibility of prosecution at the International Criminal Court.

They are also worried it could encourage some countries to impose sanctions against Israeli settlers and goods produced in the settlements.

"We hope that following the UN Security Council resolution condemning settler construction we might be able to take Israel to the ICC and start criminal proceedings there," JLAC's  Saleh said.

12 Responses to “Israel 'reducing ties' with nations over settlements”

  • Elohim (27/12/2016, 16:58) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Israel belongs to the Israelis. Where Abraham so i can tell on yall?
    • Shutup!! (29/12/2016, 10:37) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      Israel belongs to the Children of Israel who were taken out of Egypt as slaves. It does not belong to the present occupiers calling themselves Jews who came to that land in 1948 and established a Jewish State. Israel will forever get licks in that place because they left as "black people" and came back as "white people." Peter does not prosper. And who was Abraham? A black man of Ur of Chaldeas, not the whites there parading with an adopted African religious customs. I said, learn your history. The present occupiers of Israel are nothing but White Supremists, aided by Jews of America. They are bullying the Palestanians but let them don't give them a state and see what will happen. Wait, though it tarry, the blood will soon be to the horses mouth. Still going by a wall praying for Messiah to come? They will pray till that wall break down with their prayers, but no Messiah going to visit them.
      • Condor (29/12/2016, 19:12) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply

        I agree with what you are saying, but this means the land does not belong to the palestinians either. Why are we sympathizing with them? All they would do is set up another oppressive muslim state.

        Perhaps the solution is to leave those two groups to continue to kill each other until the land is returned to its rightful owners.
  • LUDA (29/12/2016, 11:08) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I find it very interesting that god people wouldn't have a state or country of its own!!!
    • Whoare? (30/12/2016, 11:31) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      Who are God's people? God do not practice discrimination? Those whites put in Israel in 1948 are not the children of Israel. Ever asked how did they get in Europe in the first place if they were children of Israel? Those people there in Israel today the Ashkenazi European Jews are not no God's people. They are "converts" and are not related to the true children of Israel. Their true homeland is Khazaria in Eastern Europe. Research it for yourself. They are doing what they do best, stealing the black man's culture and identity, still stealing our blessings. Fire bun them. They learnt Judiasm in Europe from the Moors who were in Europe as Religious Leaders. See Deuteronomy 28:64. Ever wondered why all the saints of the Catholic church in Europe are painted Black? Oh, the lies they portray to hide our identity. But it is all coming to light now. They waiting for Messiah to come and they could be Children of God? The Children of God has God's spirit dwelling in them. They are not waiting for no one to come because they know the true and living God.
      • new beginning (06/01/2017, 01:37) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
        It is people like you who wrote those research reports that you want people to read online. You are completely oblivious of the Truth. This simply means that you do not believe on Genesis to Revelation and so we have nothing to debate. At the time of the death of Christ, the Pharisees paid their soldiers to lie regarding the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Romans did everything they could to discredit Christianity. Unfortunately for them, the more the lies, the more, the church grew. Obviously, you do not believe this: It is modern historians like you who chose not to believe the map of the two kingdoms of Israel between 1050 and 930 BCE. Today, the Black man in North American is still wrongly reacting to the wickedness of the white man by desecrating the Bible simply because the white man hid behind their own interpretation of some verses of the Bible to oppress the blacks. Reacting won't help us; rather, we would play into the hands of the current generation of racists. Iran denied an obvious: Holocaust. Report has it that all those states where Marijuana has been legalized are witnessing huge health problems arising from the use of Marijuana. We would see who is losing. If you like, keep smoking, keep drinking alcohol and keep believing there is no heaven and there is no hell. One thing is certain. One day we would all die and if it turns out that you were wrong and I am right, guess who loses... you of course. If it turns out that you were right, I have nothing to lose. Guess who is smart?
  • Meshugana (29/12/2016, 13:04) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    All right, all right, we'll give you some of our famous chicken soup. Ouy vay!
  • Fair (30/12/2016, 12:09) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    I don't understand why there can't be a State of Israel and a State of Palatine. Where does the Israeli want the Palatine people to go. If the Palatine people are not given consideration there will always be turbulence in this area.
  • Trump (02/01/2017, 09:27) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    Palestine was given a chance before to live in the settlemen before but what they did...they allow hamas to launch rocket from their house it in youtube that a do you think what israel going to do? sit?hmmm they going to bomb where the rocket came from. of course put yourself in their shoe?what you going to do?...CHance is coming make america great again .cut ties to iran.
    • @trump (14/01/2017, 21:56) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      not to mention hamas is funded by the israeli government so is isis...go figure.
  • GREAT AGAIN (14/01/2017, 16:37) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    @ Trump
    War, Death, and Destruction is coming.
  • knowledge (17/01/2017, 23:04) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    People do some research. Everyman in the world have a Y DNA signature. You can take a Y DNA test and it will reveal which part of the world your ancestors came from on the paternal line. Africans, European, Asians and Middle Easterners have a distinct genetic signature. Don't judge by the color of the skin. Genetics has proven that the majority of the Jews in Israel today descend from Europeans but some descend from Middle Easterners. The real Jews are of a Middle Eastern bloodline. Some believe the Europeans where converts to the religion. Take a Y DNA test and see for yourself where you come from. There are black people with a Middle Eastern bloodline but they don't know. There are Jews of different colors. I took one But I'm interested to see the results of different families in Tola. I know some will be Middle Eastern some will be African and some will be European. On the paternal side. God bless.

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