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Arab League welcomes UN vote against Israeli settlements

Arab League welcomes UN vote against Israeli settlements

Cairo: The Arab League (AL) welcomed in a statement a UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution that demands immediate and complete halt of all Israeli settlement activities on occupied Palestinian territories.

AL Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit congratulated the Palestinian people and government on the "pivotal" resolution that was endorsed by a large majority and after more than 35 years of attempts to issue a similar resolution, Xinhua news agency reported.

"The resolution reflects massive international support for the historical struggle of the Palestinian people to get their legitimate rights, atop of which is the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital," said the AL chief in the statement.

The resolution was endorsed Friday by 14 out of the council's 15 member states, while the United States abstained but did not veto despite attempts of US President-elect Donald Trump.

Egypt tried to delay the whole vote on the resolution, which was seen as a response to pressure from Trump, yet the Egyptian Foreign Ministry later explained that the requested delay was only meant to avoid the exercise of veto right against the resolution.

Over 400,000 Israeli settlers currently live in the West Bank and at least 200,000 others live in East Jerusalem, which the Palestinians see as the capital city of their future state.

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