US denies Israeli claims it is behind UN anti-settlement resolution
December 23 2016 08:09 PM
A construction site is seen in the Israeli settlement of Givat Zeev, in the occupied West Bank
A construction site is seen in the Israeli settlement of Givat Zeev, in the occupied West Bank


The Obama administration has not been involved in crafting or promoting a UN resolution demanding an end to Israeli settlement building, a senior US official said on Friday, denying Israeli accusations the United States was behind the effort.

The official, speaking as the Security Council prepared to vote on the resolution a day after Egypt withdrew its measure under pressure from Israel and US President-elect Donald Trump, also said the United States had not communicated to any other council member how it intended to vote.
Western diplomats and Israeli officials said the United States had planned to allow the Egyptian-sponsored draft resolution to be adopted, which would be a major reversal of US practice of protecting Israel from action. Israeli officials accused President Barack Obama and his administration of being behind the effort and trying to "ambush" Israel.
"Contrary to some claims, the administration was not involved in formulating the resolution nor have we promoted it," the US official told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

 US senator threatens to curb aid

 A top US senator who oversees the United States' UN funding threatened on Friday to pull financial support for the international body if it moves forward with a vote on a resolution over Israeli settlements, and for any nation that backs the measure.
Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican who oversees the Senate subcommittee that controls such assistance, said in a statement: "If the United Nations moves forward with the ill-conceived resolution, I will work to form a bipartisan coalition to suspend or significantly reduce United States assistance to the United Nations."

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