U.S. Blocks United Nations Bid to Condemn Israeli Settlement Expansion
United Nations, December 20 (RHC)-- The Barack Obama administration has blocked a United Nations Security Council resolution condemning Israel’s latest expansion of settlements in the occupied West Bank.
Israel has announced the construction of thousands of new settlement homes following last month’s historic recognition of Palestine as a non-member observer state by the United Nations.
The White House has publicly criticized Israel, but has refused to take punitive action, including withholding any of the billions in annual U.S. aid. On Wednesday, each member of the UN Security Council, except the United States, issued statements condemning the settlement expansion after the United States refused to accept a binding resolution.
In his end of the year news conference, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Israel is undermining any remote chance of Middle East peace, calling it "a near fatal blow to the very fragile Middle East peace process." The UN head said that Israel's construction of illegal settlements on occupied territory "is clearly a violation of international law."