The United States on Friday allowed a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlement construction to be adopted, defying extraordinary pressure from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government in alliance with President-elect Donald Trump.
The Security Council approved the resolution with 14 votes, with the US abstaining. There was applause in the chamber following the vote, which represented perhaps the final bitter chapter in the years of antagonism between President Barack Obama's administration and Netanyahu's government. In an intense flurry of diplomacy that unfolded in the two days before the vote, a senior Israeli official had accused the United States of abandoning the Jewish state with its refusal to block the resolution with a veto.
Trump had also inserted himself in the diplomatic drama, in defiance of the convention that the United States has only one president at a time, by calling on the Obama administration to wield its Security Council veto.
Israel's UN ambassador, Danny Danon, reacted angrily to the vote and issued a sharp parting shot at the Obama administration's role. "It was to be expected that Israel's greatest ally would act in accordance with the values that we share and that they would have vetoed this disgraceful resolution. I have no doubt that the new US administration and the incoming UN Secretary General will usher in a new era in terms of the UN's relationship with Israel," he said.
In a statement, Netanyahu's office accused the Obama administration of "colluding" with the UN and said it looked forward to working with Trump, as well as Israel-friendly members of Congress, "to negate the harmful effects of this absurd resolution."
The US ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, raised her hand to abstain in the chamber when the resolution was put to a vote.
The Obama administration refused to veto a UN resolution condemning Israeli settlements, drawing swift reaction from Israeli officials and President-elect Donald Trump. CNN's Elise Labott reports.
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