The Latest: Israel recalls envoys to UN resolution sponsors

The latest on the U.N. Security Council's condemnation of Israeli settlements (all times local):

5:45 p.m.

Israel's prime minister is taking diplomatic action against the countries that co-sponsored a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Jewish settlement construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office announced the steps early Saturday a few hours after the United States broke with past practice and chose not to veto the measure.

Netanyahu ordered Israel's ambassadors in New Zealand and Senegal to immediately return home for consultations. He also instructed the Foreign Ministry to end all aid programs for Senegal and to cancel a planned visit to Israel by the Senegalese foreign minister.


3:45 p.m.

U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power says the Obama administration was delivering the same message that his Republican and Democratic predecessors have been sending for nearly five decades when it allowed the U.N. Security Council to condemn Israeli settlements as "a flagrant violation" of international law — that Israel must stop building settlements.

Power told the council after its 14-0 vote, with the U.S. abstaining, that then Republican president Ronald Reagan said in 1982: "The United States will not support the use of any additional land for the purpose of settlements..."

She said "President Reagan's words highlight the United States' longstanding position that Israel settlement activity in territories occupied in 1967 undermines Israel's security, harms the viability of a negotiated two-state outcome, and erodes prospects for peace and stability in the region."

She noted that since 1967, the only U.S. president who had not had at least one Israeli-Palestinian-related Security Council resolution passed during his tenure was Barack Obama.

"So our vote today is fully in line with the bipartisan history of how American presidents have approached both the issue and the role of this body," Power said.


3:30 p.m.

Donald Trump is reacting to a decision by the United States mission to the United Nations to condemn Israeli settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

The president-elect took to Twitter following the U.N. Security Council vote Friday saying, briefly, "As to the U.N., things will be different after Jan. 20th."

Trump didn't elaborate, however the move by the Obama administration brushes aside Trump's demands that the U.S. exercise its veto and provided a climax to years of icy relations with Israel's leadership.

Trump told The Associated Press last December that he wanted to be "very neutral" on Israel-Palestinian issues. But his tone became decidedly more pro-Israel as the campaign progressed. He has spoken disparagingly of Palestinians, saying they have been "taken over" by or are condoning militant groups.


2:30 p.m.

The United States has given its biggest rebuke in recent history to longstanding ally Israel, allowing the U.N. Security Council to condemn its settlements and continuing construction in Palestinian territory as a "flagrant violation" of international law.

Instead of casting a veto to support Israel, as it almost always does on council resolutions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the U.S. abstained.

That gave a green light for the council to approve the resolution by a 14-0 vote with U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power abstaining, a move greeted with loud applause in the packed Security Council chamber.

The resolution says Israel's settlements on Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, have "no legal validity." It demands a halt to "all Israeli settlement activities," saying this "is essential for salvaging the two-state solution."


12:05 p.m.

The Palestinian mission to the United Nations says the Security Council will vote Friday on a resolution condemning Israel's settlement construction, now sponsored by New Zealand, Malaysia, Senegal and Venezuela.

The mission said the vote would take place Friday but no time has been set.

Egypt, the Arab representative on the Security Council, initially circulated the resolution and called for a vote Thursday but indefinitely postponed the vote.

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, who has not criticized Israeli construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and has announced he will nominate a pro-settlement ambassador, spoke to Egypt's president early Friday, after the postponement was announced.

The U.S., along with the Palestinians and nearly all of the international community, opposes Israeli settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem as obstacles to peace.

All eyes will be on the U.S. vote on Friday — whether the Obama administration abstains or vetoes the resolution.