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Israel starts damage control following UN anti-settlement resolution

Israel starts damage control following UN anti-settlement resolution

Israel pressed forward with promises of retaliation and damage control Sunday following a UN vote last week on an anti-settlement resolution that passed thanks to an abstention by the U.S., Israel’s close ally.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry said it began summoning the ambassadors of countries who voted in favour of the resolution, including those from the permanent members of the Security Council — Russia, China, the U.K. and France. The U.S. ambassador was not being summoned because it had abstained and not voted in favour, according to Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon.

Speaking to a weekly meeting of his cabinet on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel was also considering a “plan of action” against the UN, without elaborating.

“We will do all it takes so Israel emerges unscathed from this shameful decision,” Netanyahu said.

‘We feel betrayed’

The resolution, which condemned Israeli settlement activities in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, sparked outrage in Israel and led to a new low in relations between Netanyahu and U.S. President Barack Obama. Israel has accused Obama of colluding with the Palestinians against the Jewish state.

“We feel betrayed, extremely frustrated. We are angry. This is not how you treat friends,” said cabinet minister Yuval Steinitz.

The resolution’s immediate impact appears to be largely symbolic, but Israel fears it could open the door to an increase in international steps, including economic measures. Much of the international community considers the settlements illegal or illegitimate and an obstacle to peace.

In addition to the measures declared Sunday, Israel has recalled its ambassadors to New Zealand and Senegal for consultations and cancelled a planned January visit to Israel by Senegal’s foreign minister. A visit by Ukraine’s prime minister has also been cancelled in light of its support for the UN vote and Israel has pledged to cut millions in funding to certain UN agencies.

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CBC | World News

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