Chief Palestinian Negotiator Erekat says adoption of anti-settlement resolution at U.N. security council ''is a day of victory''. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: A U.N. Security Council vote to adopt a resolution demanding an end to Israeli settlements marks "a day of victory," a senior Palestinian official said on Friday (December 23). "This is a victory for those who believe in peace, who believe in the two state solution and this is a total defeat for those forces of extremism in Israel who believe in destroying the two state solution and achieving and sustaining the apartheid regime that they are building in the West Bank," Chief Palestinian Negotiator Saeb Erekat told Reuters. The Obama administration on Friday allowed the U.N. Security Council to adopt a resolution demanding an end to Israeli settlements, defying pressure from U.S. President-elect Donald Trump as well as Israel and several U.S. senators who urged Washington to use its veto. 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 favour, to a round of applause. It is the first resolution the Security Council has adopted on Israel and the Palestinians in nearly eight years. The U.S. decision to abstain was a relatively rare step by Washington, which usually shields Israel from such action. The U.S. abstention was seen as a parting shot by U.S. President Barack Obama, who has had an acrimonious relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and who has made settlements a major target of peace efforts that have proven ultimately futile.