News World Israel to reassess UN ties after ‘shameful’ decision

Israel to reassess UN ties after ‘shameful’ decision

Benjamin Netanyahu United Nations
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the UN General Assembly in September 2016. Photo: Getty
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Israel’s prime minister has blasted a United Nations Security Council decision to stop Israeli settlement on Palestinian land and ordered a review of the country’s ties with the global institution.

The vote was able to pass the 15-member council on Friday because the United States broke with a long-standing approach of diplomatically shielding Israel and did not wield its veto power as it had on many times before – a decision Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called “shameful”.

“I instructed the Foreign Ministry to complete within a month a re-evaluation of all our contacts with the United Nations, including the Israeli funding of UN institutions and the presence of UN representatives in Israel,” Mr Netanyahu said in broadcast remarks.

“I have already instructed to stop about 30 million shekels $US7.8 million ($A10.9 million) in funding to five UN institutions, five bodies, that are especially hostile to Israel … and there is more to come,” he said.

The Israeli leader did not name the institutions or offer any further details.

Defying heavy pressure from long-time ally Israel and President-elect Donald Trump for Washington to use its veto, the United States abstained in the Security Council decision, which passed with 14 votes in favour.

Israel for decades has pursued a policy of constructing Jewish settlements on territory captured by Israel in a 1967 war with its Arab neighbours including the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.

Most countries view Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank and East Jerusalem as illegal and an obstacle to peace.

Israel disagrees, citing a historic connection to the land.

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