Israel has threatened to annex the Palestinian properties on which it has built settlement blocs after the UN Security Council approved a resolution denouncing the structures as illegal.
“We should announce the immediate annexation of the settlement blocs… We should renew construction throughout the land,” Gilad Erdan, the Israeli minister for public security, from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s hardline Likud Party said on Saturday.
Israel was created in 1948 after wholesale wars on Arab states. The warfare was followed by the establishment of the so-called Green Line, which marked its forcefully-seized contours.
However, in 1967, it staged further military attacks beyond the line, seizing the Palestinian territories now known as the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds. Since then, it has been dotting the lands with more than 120 settlements despite the international outcry against the unlawful activities.
Resolution 2334, which was passed on Friday, declared the settlements to be void of any “legal validity” and said their existence amounted to “a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to…a just, lasting and comprehensive peace.”
Palestinian factions in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip have collectively welcomed a United Nations Security Council resolution, with Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki describing the vote as a “victory for the Palestinian people.”
Prior to the vote, Tel Aviv had launched into a frenetic but unsuccessful lobbying to block the vote and prompt a veto by its strongest ally, the United States, who surprisingly abstained.
The regime was swift to lash out at the measure, block funding to some UN projects, and threaten to revise ties with the world body.
“There’s so much darkness and so much hypocrisy in the UN’s vote on Israel,” Erdan further said. “It’s hypocrisy and shamelessness.”
Before the vote, US President-elect Donald Trump had called on Egypt, which had drafted the resolution, to decide against tabling the proposal.
Egypt toed the line, but the draft was put to vote by Senegal, New Zealand, Malaysia, and Venezuela, who had said they would resort their right to do so if Cairo would back down.
After the vote, Netanyahu said the regime would reassess ties with the world body. “The decision that was taken was biased and shameful, but we will withstand it,” he added.
Also as means of getting back at the UN, the Israeli regime has put back on track proposed legislation to award legal status to some 4,000 settler units built on private Palestinian property in the West Bank.
The bill had been advancing through Knesset (the Israeli Parliament), but was put on hold until Trump would enter the White House on January 20.
Israel’s Channel 2 has also reported that Netanyahu could announce new construction beyond the Green Line, when he convenes his cabinet for its weekly meeting on Sunday morning.