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Netanyahu summons US ambassador ‘for clarifications’ on UN vote

Jerusalem: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu demanded the US ambassador to provide “clarifications” after Washington abstained from a UN vote on the illegitimacy of the West Bank settlements.

A statement by the Foreign Ministry on Sunday said Netanyahu summoned Ambassador Dan Shapiro for a meeting, which has yet to be scheduled, Xinhua news agency reported.

In the morning, the ministry said that Netanyahu instructed the ministry to summon the envoys of the UN Security Council’s member countries which have an embassy in Israel for a reprimand.

The move was part of a “diplomatic and economic price” that Netanyahu vowed to exact from countries which supported the historic motion to end the Israeli settlements in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

The vote, passed on Friday by a 14-0 majority, with the US abstaining, demands Israel to “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem”.

Israel reacted furiously, with Netanyahu lashing at President Barack Obama and accusing him of “a shameful ambush.”

The White House rejected the accusations, saying it didn’t promote the motion.

About 500,000 Jewish settlers live in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, lands that Israel seized in the 1967 Mideast War and has been controlling them ever since, despite international condemnations.

–IANS