Israel enraged by UN resolution calling for halt in settlement activity
Israel's policy of settlement expansion has been widely condemned by the international community. (AFP/File)
The Israeli government has come out in full force against a UN Security Council vote scheduled Thursday on a draft resolution demanding a halt to settlement activity in the West Bank.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on the US to veto the "anti-Israel resolution," while the Israeli UN ambassador, Danny Danon, said he expected "our greatest ally" to sink the document.
The draft resolution, submitted by Egypt on Wednesday night, condemns the settlements as a violation of international law and as a hurdle to implementing the two-state solution, according to media reports.
The global community, including the US and the UN, has long condemned settlement activity. The US had vetoed a similar draft resolution in 2011, saying it would further hinder Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
The resolution comes amid the announcement last week that David Friedman, who has said that he does not think Israeli settlement activity is illegal, was named as the future US ambassador to Israel.
US President Barack Obama, with less than a month left in office, had called for a settlement freeze upon taking office in 2009, but continued expansion paved the way for sour relations with Netanyahu.
Riyad Mansour, Palestinian ambassador to the UN, had requested that the council take action on the settlements in October, saying that the Palestinians and their Arab partners were seeking a "clear course of action to confront this main obstacle to peace."
The peace process has been long frozen, and a last attempt, led by the US and supported by several global bodies, collapsed in 2014.
The vote in New York is scheduled at 3 PM (1900 GMT).
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