The U.S. abstains from a UN Security Council vote calling on Israel to stop building settlements on occupied Palestinian territory. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION). STORy: The U.N. Security Council on Friday (December 23) passed a resolution demanding Israel stop building settlements on occupied Palestinian territory, after the U.S. abstained. The U.S. decision not to vote is a reversal of its normal practice to protect Israel from United Nations action. U.S. Ambassador to the the UN Samantha Power said the move is not a sign that Washington is walking away from its commitment to Israel's security. "President Obama and this administration have shown an unprecedented commitment to Israel's security," she told the council. But she added, "one has to make a choice between settlements and separation." The resolution was put forward at the 15-member council for a vote on Friday by New Zealand, Malaysia, Venezuela and Senegal a day after Egypt withdrew it under pressure from Israel and U.S. President-elect Donald Trump. Israel and Trump had called on the United States to veto the measure. It was adopted with 14 votes in favor, to a round of applause. It is the first resolution the Security Council has adopted on Israel and the Palestinians in nearly eight years.