The Israeli government's furious reaction to the UN Security Council's adoption of a resolution opposing Jewish settlements in occupied territory underscores its fundamental and bitter dispute with the international community about the future of the West Bank and east Jerusalem, writes Josef Federman at AP. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insists there is nothing wrong with his controversial policy of building Jewish towns in occupied areas that the Palestinians, with overwhelming world support, claim for their state. But Friday's UN rebuke was a stark reminder that the rest of the world considers it a crime. The embattled leader is now placing his hopes in the incoming administration of Donald Trump, which is shaping up as the first major player to embrace Israel's nationalist right and its West Bank settlements.
In a series of statements, Netanyahu has criticized the Obama administration for letting Resolution 2334 pass Friday by abstaining, using unprecedented language that has turned a policy disagreement into a personal vendetta. "From the information that we have, we have no doubt that the Obama administration initiated it, stood behind it, coordinated on the wording, and demanded that it be passed," Netanyahu told his Cabinet on Sunday. The resolution marked a sharp international rebuke of Israeli settlement policies in the West Bank and east Jerusalem—territories captured in the 1967 Mideast war and claimed by the Palestinians as parts of a future independent state. Some 600,000 Israelis now live in the two areas, complicating any partition of the land between Israel and a future Palestine. On Sunday, Netanyahu also summoned the US ambassador and the ambassadors of 10 other nations to protest the vote, reports USA Today. (Read more Benjamin Netanyahu stories.)