Israel summons US envoy after UN vote
Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel summoned US envoy Daniel Shapiro to discuss US’s decision to abstain from voting at the UNSC meeting.
Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu called the US Ambassador Daniel Shapiro to Israel for a special meeting over the UN’s resolution condemning Israeli settlements on Palestinian territory. Shapiro was summoned on 25 December 2016.
Shapiro’s summon came hours after 14 envoys of other United Nations Security Council (UNSC) member states were asked to appear before the Israel foreign ministry. Shapiro was called in to discuss United States’ decision to abstain from voting, which eventually led to the adoption of the resolution.
About the resolution
• It demands an immediate end to all Israeli settlement building activities on the occupied Palestinian territory including East Jerusalem.
• It was initially drafted by Egypt but was withdrawn later, as the country was unsure of its chances of passing, especially after US President-Elect Donald Trump asked the current US administration to veto it.
• However, it was re-introduced to the UNSC by member states such as Malaysia, New Zealand, Venezuela and Senegal on 23 December 2016.
• In spite of the intense efforts put in by Israeli Prime Minister and Donald Trump to ensure the United States blocks the resolution, the nation abstained from voting.
• The resolution was eventually adopted with 14 out of 15 UNSC members voting in favour.
• This is the first resolution that has been adopted by the UNSC on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since 1979.
Israel’s Prime Minister called the resolution shameful and rejected it out rightly. Apart from this, Netanyahu has also instructed Israel’s ambassadors to New Zealand and Senegal to return immediately to Israel for consultations in response to the newly passed resolution.
Netanyahu also added that Jerusalem will also be re-assessing its ties with the United States. He is hoping that the decision would be reversed once Trump takes over.
US’s decision to sit out from the landmark vote can be largely credited to the outgoing Obama administration.