Source to JPost: Egypt 'caves' to Israeli pressure, pulling UN resolution

By REUTERS
December 22, 2016 17:07

Egypt had circulated the draft on Wednesday evening and the 15-member council had been due to vote later on Thursday.

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Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. (photo credit: REUTERS)

WASHINGTON -- The government of Egypt has decided to nix its plan to proceed with a resolution at the UN Security Council condemning Israel over its settlement activity, a Western diplomatic source told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday.

Egypt's Fattah al-Sisi had introduced the draft on Wednesday evening, and the Council planned a vote for Thursday at 3:00 pm EST.

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But "President Sisi caved to Israeli pressure," the source said. "This is a resolution that the Egyptians spearheaded and introduced, only to shelve it under Israeli pressure."

The resolution would demand Israel "immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem."

Before the report of the potential delay, US President-elect Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged the Obama administration to veto the draft motion.

Netanyahu took to Twitter in the dead of night in Israel to make the appeal, in a sign of concern that President Barack Obama might take a parting shot at a policy he has long opposed and a right-wing leader with whom he has had a rocky relationship.

Israel's security cabinet was due to hold a special session at 3 p.m. to discuss the issue.

In a statement early on Thursday morning, Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon criticized the resolution, especially in light of conflicts in the region. "It is bizarre that while thousands are being slaughtered in Syria," he wrote, "the Security Council dedicates time specifically to discuss the condemnation of the sole democracy in the Middle East [Israel]."

"We expect our greatest ally to not let this one-sided and anti-Israel resolution pass through," he added.

Also on Thursday, former Israeli ambassador to the UN Dore Gold said if the Security Council adopts the Egyptian-backed anti-settlement resolution, Israel will likely be faced with a rejuvenated boycott, sanctions and divestment (BDS) effort around the world.

“What this resolution will do is leave in its wake a number of initiatives in the NGO community that will require governments taking legal measures to restrict the actions of NGOs who really want to advance a boycott and divestment agenda,” he said.

Herb Keinon and Jpost.com Staff contributed to this report.


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