Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has referred to the latest Israeli settlement expansions as a “red line” and is urging the UN Security Council to intervene in blocking the expansion into the “E-1,” which will effectively cut any proposed Palestinian state in the West Bank in half.
Israel is insisting there will be no changes to their planned expansion, and the US State Department is responding by angrily condemning Abbas for his “unhelpful rhetoric” in mentioning that he is seeking UN help.
It’s likely another UN vote the US would rather not see ever happen, though for a different reason than the General Assembly vote they weren’t able to block late last month. Israeli analysts say the US is “certain” to veto any Security Council criticism of the settlement expansion.
But with the expansion in part meant to “punish” the Obama Administration in the first place, and with Israel blaming the US for European criticism of the plan, the assumed veto is mighty presumptuous, even by Israeli government standards. With the US already looking extremely hypocritical on several other measures at the UN, blocking a settlement resolution at the moment is going to be harder than ever, and while the administration is liable to do it at any rate for momentum’s sake, it will further strain the Obama-Netanyahu relationship to even put them in this position.
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