US

Official: Israel turned to Trump to head off UN resolution

  • FILE - In this Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016, file photo, President-elect Donald Trump attends a meeting at Mar-a-Lago, in Palm Beach, Fla. As Trump shapes his policy agenda ahead of next month’s inauguration, he is trafficking in the same ambiguity that was a hallmark of his presidential campaign. But as president, ambiguity is a high-risk doctrine, particularly on foreign policy matters. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

    FILE - In this Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016, file photo, President-elect Donald Trump attends a meeting at Mar-a-Lago, in Palm Beach, Fla. As Trump shapes his policy agenda ahead of next month’s inauguration, he is trafficking in the same ambiguity that was a hallmark of his presidential campaign. But as president, ambiguity is a high-risk doctrine, particularly on foreign policy matters. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • Israeli border police officers scuffle with Palestinian protesters, some are dressed as Santa Claus, during a protest in front of an Israeli checkpoint, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, Friday, Dec. 23, 2016. In a Christmas greeting on Friday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said: "Despite the Israeli occupation, our presence in our homeland and the preservation of our cultural and national heritage are the most important form of resistance in the face of the darkness of a foreign colonialist occupying power." (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

    Israeli border police officers scuffle with Palestinian protesters, some are dressed as Santa Claus, during a protest in front of an Israeli checkpoint, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, Friday, Dec. 23, 2016. In a Christmas greeting on Friday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said: "Despite the Israeli occupation, our presence in our homeland and the preservation of our cultural and national heritage are the most important form of resistance in the face of the darkness of a foreign colonialist occupying power." (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - This May 17, 2016 file photo shows construction on land owned by Palestinian Mohammad Abu Ta'a, in east Jerusalem. Abu Ta'a discovered some years ago that the Israeli government had expropriated the piece of land in Jerusalem belonging to his family and handed it over to a leading organization that oversees Jewish settlement building in the West Bank. The U.N. Security Council prepared Friday for perhaps its biggest vote in recent history as the United States weighed abstaining from a resolution that would condemn Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. Behind the scenes, U.S. and Israeli officials exchanged surprisingly sharp words for allies.  (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

    FILE - This May 17, 2016 file photo shows construction on land owned by Palestinian Mohammad Abu Ta'a, in east Jerusalem. Abu Ta'a discovered some years ago that the Israeli government had expropriated the piece of land in Jerusalem belonging to his family and handed it over to a leading organization that oversees Jewish settlement building in the West Bank. The U.N. Security Council prepared Friday for perhaps its biggest vote in recent history as the United States weighed abstaining from a resolution that would condemn Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. Behind the scenes, U.S. and Israeli officials exchanged surprisingly sharp words for allies. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)  (The Associated Press)

An Israeli official says Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu turned to President-elect Donald Trump to help head off a critical U.N. resolution after learning that the White House did not intend to veto the measure.

The Egyptian-sponsored resolution had demanded that Israel halt settlement activities in occupied territories claimed by the Palestinians and declared that existing settlements "have no legal validity."

But under heavy Israeli pressure, Egypt canceled a planned vote in the Security Council hours before it was to take place.

The official, speaking Friday on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media, said that after "becoming aware" that the Obama administration would not veto the resolution, Israeli officials "reached out to Trump's transition team to ask for the president-elect's help."