- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 22, 2016

President-elect Donald Trump on Thursday called on the Obama administration to veto the United Nations Security Council draft resolution demanding an immediate halt to Israeli settlement building on occupied territory Palestinians want for a state.

Israeli Prime Minister Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also has called for a veto of the resolution, which was drafted by Egypt and is due for a vote by the 15-member Security Council at later Thursday.

Mr. Trump said the resolution “puts Israel in a very poor negotiating position and is extremely unfair to all Israelis.”

“The resolution being considered at the United Nations Security Council regarding Israel should be vetoed,” he said in a statement. “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.

The statement was the latest indication that Mr. Trump will forge closer relations with Israel than President Obama, whose relations with the Jewish State have been tenuous at best.

Mr. Trump recently nominated pro-Israel hardliner David Friedman as ambassador to Israel. Mr. Friedman echoed Mr. Trump’s promise on the campaign trail to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, a move that is considered hostile by Palestinians who want East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state.

The resolution before the council would demand Israel “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.”

The U.S. previously has worked to protect Israel on the council, but it was unclear how the Obama administration planned to proceed.

• S.A. Miller can be reached at smiller@washingtontimes.com.

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