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Israel summons U.S. ambassador for scolding on U.N. vote

By Allen Cone 

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu summoned the U.S. ambassador to Israel to scold the Obama administration for its refusal to veto a United Nations Security Council resolution condemning Israel's settlements in the West Bank.
Daniel Shapiro was summoned after the United States abstained on the resolution, allowing it to pass, Israeli official told CNN Sunday.
Earlier, 10 other ambassadors from countries that supported the resolution were also called in.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry said Netanyahu called the ambassadors "to express deep anger and dissatisfaction as a result of the vote of countries that consider themselves friends of Israel," ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nachshon said. This was not a vote in favor of peace. It was a vote against Israel."
Ambassadors from China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, Angola, Egypt, Japan, Spain, Ukraine and Uruguay were summoned.
A senior diplomat in Jerusalem and a Western diplomat told Haaretz the summons were unusual, because they occurred on Christmas Day. "What would they have said in Jerusalem if we summoned the Israeli ambassador on Yom Kippur," the Western diplomat said.
Security Council resolution 2334 says Israel's settlements in the West Bank "had no legal validity, constituting a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the vision of two states living side-by-side in peace."
The resolution passed with 14 votes. Four of the countries do not have permanent ambassadors in Israel.
President-elect Donald Trump had called on the Obama administration to veto the resolution. He tweeted, "things would be different" after he takes office on Jan. 20.
The prime minister posted on Twitter, "I'm encouraged by statements of our friends in the US, Dem & Rep alike, who understand how reckless and destructive this UN resolution was."
But before his weekly cabinet meeting Sunday, Netanyahu said he shared the "feelings, anger and frustration vis-à-vis the unbalanced resolution that is very hostile to the State of Israel, and which the Security Council passed in an unworthy manner."
He added: "We will do whatever is necessary so that Israel will not be damaged by this shameful resolution and I also tell the ministers here, we must act prudently, responsibly and calmly, in both actions and words."
Netanyahu said he has no doubt that the Obama administration was behind the resolution, coordinated its wording and made sure it passes. This contradicted traditional U.S. policy against forcing conditions on Israel via the Security Council, including an explicit commitment from Barack Obama in 2011.
Netanyahu took aim at the U.S. secretary of state, telling the ministers in English: "As I told John Kerry on Thursday -- friends do not take friends to the Security Council." 
The United States and most other nations consider the Israeli settlements as an obstacle to a two-state solution between Israelis and Palestinians.
During a Hanukkah celebration Saturday, Netanyahu said called the resolution "shameful" in his first public remarks since Friday's vote.

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