US House voices disapproval for UN resolution on Israeli settlements

Republican lawmakers accuse the the outgoing administration of turning its back on Israel. Democrats, on the other hand, accuse Republicans of unfairly attacking President Barack Obama in the waning days of his term.

Photo by: Reuters Archive
Photo by: Reuters Archive

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused the US President Barack Obama of a "shameful ambush" and said he was looking forward to working with Trump, whom he describes as his friend.

The US House of Representatives on Thursday overwhelmingly passed a resolution that condemned a recent UN vote on Israeli settlements.

The UN Security Council resolution criticises Israel over its settlement building on Palestinian land and demands an end to it.

The House resolution, which passed 342-80, says that the December 23, 2016 UN vote was an obstacle to Israeli-Palestinian peace.

US lawmakers — and President-elect Donald Trump — have assailed Barack Obama's outgoing administration for abstaining instead of vetoing the UN resolution, essentially clearing the way for its passage.

"I am stunned at what happened last month. This government – our government – abandoned our ally Israel when she needed us the most," House Speaker Paul Ryan told the chamber shortly before the House vote.

"It is time to repair the damage done by this misguided hit job at the UN," he added. "It's time to rebuild our partnership" with the Jewish state.

The House measure, which is non-binding, calls for the UN resolution "to be repealed or fundamentally altered so that... it is no longer one-sided and anti-Israel" and allows all final status issues toward a two-state solution to be resolved through direct bilateral negotiation.

It also demands that the US ensures that no action be taken at the upcoming Paris Conference on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that would impose an agreement on the two sides.

The Paris talks to reiterate international support for a two-state solution are scheduled for January 15. Around 70 countries, but no Israeli or Palestinian representatives, will attend.

TRTWorld and agencies