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On February 18, Washington alone vetoed a Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlement construction.

Resolution language called colonization "illegal." It denounced settlements as an "obstacle to peace."

It demanded that "Israel, as the occupying power, immediately and completely ceases all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem and that it fully respect its legal obligations in this regard."

Over 120 UN Member States co-sponsored the measure. It urged all parties to negotiate in good faith for peace. 

It called for the "intensification of international and regional diplomatic efforts to support and invigorate the peace process towards achievement of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace."

Palestine's Permanent UN Observer, Riyad Mansosur, said the Security Council failed to "uphold its responsibilities."

"Our overarching goal remains to bring an end to the Israeli colonization and occupation of our land and its destruction of the two-State solution."

"We fear, however, that the message sent today may be one that only encourages further Israeli intransigence and impunity."

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Israel's then UN ambassador Meron Reuben said "the resolution should never have been submitted."

Rogue states make outrageous claims. With US backing, they're free to violate international law with impunity. Israel takes full advantage.

On December 19, Washington again expressed support. UN Security Council members met in New York. Unofficial discussions took place. They substituted for condemnation with teeth. No resolution was proposed.

Fourteen members condemned Israel's latest construction plans separately. They did so outside the Council chamber. Comments followed their monthly Middle East briefing.

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Britain's ambassador Mark Grant read a joint UK/German/French/ Portuguese statement, saying:

"Israel's announcements that it will accelerate the construction of settlements send a negative message and are undermining faith in its willingness to negotiate."

"The viability of the two-state solution".is threatened by the systematic expansion of settlements. Settlements are illegal under international law and detrimental to any international efforts to restart peace negotiations and secure a two-state solution."

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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