With a resolution voted on 23rd December, the Security Council of the United Nations reaffirmed that Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories of the West Bank are illegal and constitute a flagrant violation of the International Law, and demanded the immediate end to the expansion of the settlements.
The resolution was adopted by 14 votes, with the United States abstaining, and was characterized as an important diplomatic success of the Palestinian Authority. US Ambassador Samantha Power who used to veto all UN resolutions that were against Israel´s interests, decided to abstain from voting, after the respective order of the outgoing US President Barack Obama, who wants to underline his inter-imperialistic rivalries of the last years with the government of the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The latter denounced the UN resolution and announced retaliatory measures, like the freezing of relations between the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of 12 out of the 14 countries that voted in favor of the resolution. Moreover, he refused to meet the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Great Britain and China, cancelled the visit of Ukraine’s prime Minister to Tel Aviv, suspended the financial support to Senegal as well as financial contributions to UN Organizations and services.
On the other side, the president of Palestine Mahmoud Abas hopes that the Conference of Paris on the Palestinian issue will establish the end of the Jewish settlements expansion as well as the reopening of peace dialogue.
In all cases, the abstention of the USA during the UN Security Council, which is the first one since 1970s, does not necessarily constitute a turning-point in American diplomacy. Maybe the outgoing President wanted to promote his reputation, but the truth is that he was protecting and promoting Israeli occupation forces’ interests for many years, as he also did with the recent decision for a new huge financial and militant assistance package to Israel.