Israel News for December 23, 2016

No UN Vote
The UN Security Council vote on an Egyptian sponsored resolution to condemn Israeli settlement building in the West Bank was postponed indefinitely after Egypt abruptly withdrew their proposed draft.

According to Western officials, the Obama administration was prepared to allow the US to abstain from the vote, allowing the resolution to pass. This was confirmed by US officials. The Israelis found out about this and implored the White House to veto the resolution.

When they felt that the US would still abstain, they reached out to Trump, who tweeted his Facebook post that said:

“The resolution being considered at the United Nations Security Council regarding Israel should be vetoed.

As the United States has long maintained, peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians will only come through direct negotiations between the parties, and not through the imposition of terms by the United Nations.
This puts Israel in a very poor negotiating position and is extremely unfair to all Israelis.”

Earlier in the year, when referring to negotiating a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, Trump told CNN, “I don’t like the United Nations getting involved in the negotiation. This has to be a deal between the Palestinians and the Israelis. This has to be that. You can’t force a deal down the throats of both but you know it will be a bad deal for Israel if they do that. So … if the United Nations forces a deal, I would veto that deal immediately.”

Israel put a lot of pressure on Egyptian president al-Sisi, who then spoke with Donald Trump. Egypt then withdraw the draft resolution. An Egyptian spokesman said, “The presidents agreed on the importance of affording the new U.S. administration the full chance to deal with all dimensions of the Palestinian case with a view of achieving a full and final settlement.”

Trump also attempted to convince the White House to veto the resolution.

The resolution can still be submitted for a vote by another country. New Zealand, Venezuela, Malaysia and Senegal had expressed interest in the resolution and will be meeting today to decide whether to push for a vote.

There was no comment from the White house or State Department regarding the United State’s planned abstention.

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Terrorists Captured
The Shin Bet has busted a terror cell with more than twenty Hamas terrorists from across the West Bank. The cell, based around Nablus, was recruiting and training terrorists to carry out suicide bombing attacks in Jerusalem and Haifa. The cell established a bomb-making factory in Nablus and acquired M-16 assault rifles. Most of the terrorists have previously spent time in Israeli prisons.

A Shin Bet spokesman said, “The Shin Bet investigation unearthed a well-organized, structured Hamas cell. Had it not been discovered, it would have carried out grave terror attacks. Thanks to excellent intelligence and operational activities of Shin Bet and IDF forces, the cell was discovered in time. This investigation reveals, once again, the efforts that Hamas is investing into creating terror infrastructure in Judea and Samaria to carry out attacks against Israelis.”

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Amona Extension
The Supreme Court has accepted a government petition and granted a 45 extension to the scheduled Dec. 25th evacuation of Amona. The new date is Feb. 8, 2017. The court stressed that “this is a final and last extension, even if no alternative solution is found.”

Amona residents welcomed the decision saying, “Now, the responsibility is entirely on the state and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who committed to erect in the next 45 days homes on the mountain for the residents of Amona, and preserve the town. The ball is in their hands.”

The government plans to relocate most of the families to a nearby plot of land on the same mountain. Some of the families will be relocated temporarily to housing near Ofra.

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