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Defiant Netanyahu Won’t Allow Israel to be ‘Spit On,’ Vows to ‘Respond Forcefully’ After UN Anti-Settlement Vote

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to “respond forcefully” against countries who voted in favor of a U.N. resolution that states the Western Wall is occupied territory.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting at his Jerusalem office, December 25, 2016. Reuters

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to “respond forcefully” against countries who voted in favor of a U.N. resolution that states the Western Wall is occupied territory.

To emphasize his point, the defiant prime minister lit the second Hanukkah menorah at the Western Wall on the evening of Dec. 25.

"I didn't plan on being here this evening, but in light of the U.N. decision I thought there was no better place to light the Hanukkah candle than right here, the Western Wall,” Netanyahu said, according to JNS.org.

He also said he would be working with U.S. president-elect Donald Trump to make sure those countries who voted in favor of the anti-settlement resolution will pay an economic and diplomatic price.

“Israel is strong, and I won't let us be spit on,” Netanyahu said. “We will respond forcefully.”

Netanyahu already warned New Zealand that Israel is treating its sponsorship of the resolution as a declaration of war.

On Dec. 23, 14 countries belonging to the U.N. Security Council voted in favor of Resolution 2334, which reaffirms that Israel’s settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem “had no legal validity” and is a “flagrant violation of international law,” according to a press release.

With the passage of the resolution, the Security Council once more ordered Israel to “cease all settlement activities” in the Palestinian territory.

The U.S. abstained from voting. The country’s representative explained the U.S. has long believed that the settlements “eroded prospects for peace and stability,” but with 18 “bias” U.N. resolutions passed this year that all condemn Israel, the country decided not to vote.

The U.S. also did not exercise its power to veto the anti-settlement resolution this time, while it had done so in similar situations in the past.

“According to the U.N. decision, the Maccabees did not liberate Jerusalem, they conquered Palestinian territory,” Netanyahu said. “According to the U.N. decision, their villages, from the area of Modi’in and its surroundings, were occupied Palestinian territory.”

“Of course, the Palestinians came much later, and I ask those countries who wish us a 'Happy Hanukkah,' how could they vote for a U.N. resolution that says the place we now stand and celebrate Hanukkah is occupied territory?” he added.

Trump condemned the Obama administration for its lack of support for Israel.

"We cannot continue to let Israel be treated with such total disdain and disrespect. They used to have a great friend in the U.S., but not anymore,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “The beginning of the end was the horrible Iran deal, and now this (U.N.)!”

“Stay strong Israel, January 20th is fast approaching!" Trump said.

Meanwhile, Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer announced he has evidence that the Obama administration had a hand in the passage of Resolution 2334. He said they would show it to the incoming administration, and they would leave it to Trump if he would let the public know about it or not.

Tags : Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, anti-settlement resolution, UN Resolution 2334, UN Security Council Resolution 2334, Barack Obama, Donald Trump, New Zealand, Western Wall, Hanukkah, East Jerusalem, Israeli settlements, Ron Dermer, UN approves anti-Israel settlement resolution