The UN Security Council on Friday passed a resolution demanding that Israel halt building settlements on occupied Palestinian territory, a move that was permitted by the US’s abstention.

The resolution, put forward by by New Zealand, Malaysia, Venezuela, and Senegal, passed with 14 members of the council voting in favor. The US abstained, refusing to use its power as a sitting member of the Security Council to veto. In doing so, the Obama administration defied pressure from US President-elect Donald Trump, along with bipartisan members of Congress.

The resolution says that Israeli settlements in Palestinian territories have “no legal validity” and constitute a “flagrant violation under international law.” The settlements are a “major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State (sic) solution,” and a, “just, lasting and comprehensive peace,” the resolution says.

Members of the council clapped and cheered as the vote passed. It was the first time in 36 years the UN adopted a resolution on Israeli settlements.


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Featured image courtesy of AP.