Donald Trump blasts Obama over United Nations Israel ruling

  • 29/12/2016

US President-elect Donald Trump has criticised the Obama administration for its stance toward Israel, while US Secretary of State John Kerry delivered a speech on international opposition to Israeli settlement building.

"We cannot continue to let Israel be treated with such total disdain and disrespect," Mr Trump wrote on Twitter.

"They used to have a great friend in the U.S., but… not anymore. The beginning of the end was the horrible Iran deal, and now this (U.N.)! Stay strong Israel, January 20th is fast approaching!"

The landmark United Nations resolution, co-sponsored by New Zealand, criticises Israeli settlements as violating international law and undermining a two-state solution with Palestine.

Israel is denying media reports Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully that New Zealand's support for the resolution was "a declaration of war."

Mr Netanyahu phoned Foreign Minister Murray McCully before the vote on the resolution. 

A spokeperson for the Israeli embassy has categorically denied Mr Netanyahu said any such thing, and Mr McCully won't reveal details of the conversation.

Israel-Palestine peace 'in serious jeopardy' - Kerry

Mr Kerry is defending the UN resolution, saying peace between Israelis and Palestinians is in serious jeopardy.

In a speech just weeks before the Obama administration hands over power to President-elect Donald Trump, Mr Kerry defended the US decision to allow the passage of a UN resolution last week demanding an end to Israeli settlements, saying it was intended to preserve the possibility of a two-state solution.

"Despite our best efforts over the years, the two-state solution is now in serious jeopardy," Mr Kerry said in a speech at the State Department. "We cannot, in good conscience, do nothing, and say nothing, when we see the hope of peace slipping away."

"The truth is that trends on the ground  violence, terrorism, incitement, settlement expansion and the seemingly endless occupation are destroying hopes for peace on both sides and increasingly cementing an irreversible one-state reality that most people do not actually want."

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has responded to Mr Kerry by saying he is convinced peace with Israel is achievable, but he continues to demand that Israel halts settlement building before talks restart.

Israel does not need to be lectured - Netanyahu

Israel's prime minister decried Mr Kerry's speech as a "deep disappointment" and vowed to work with the incoming Trump administration to contain the fallout from last week's UN resolution calling Israeli settlements illegal.

"We are not about to be swayed by a mistaken policy that could cause big, big damage," Benjamin Netanyahu said, speaking in English. "Israelis do not need to be lectured about the importance of peace by foreign leaders."

Reuters / Newshub.