US isolated in UN rights vote against Israeli settlements



GENEVA- The UN Human Rights Council on Wednesday voted to condemn Israeli settlement building in the Occupied Territories including East Jerusalem, shrugging off lone US opposition.
The United States was the only state in the 47 member council that voted against the resolution presented by Islamic and Arab countries.
All the other member states, including several European countries, supported the resolution, which "condemns the new Israeli announcement on the construction of... 1,600 new housing units for new settlers in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Ramat Shlomo."



Palestinian labourers work at a construction site of new housing units in Givat Zeev Israeli settlement
Palestinian labourers work at a construction site of new housing units in Givat Zeev Israeli settlement
The resolution deplored recent Israeli announcements of housing construction for settlers in and around East Jerusalem, warning that "they undermine the peace process" and urged Israel to halt and reverse overall settlement expansion.
Despite its stance in the UN rights council, the White House has demanded a freeze in settlement construction, leading to a frosty standoff with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Sticking to a hardline position before the talks with US President Barack Obama late Tuesday, Netanyahu said peace efforts would be held up by what he called "unreasonable" demands for a freeze on new settlers homes in east Jerusalem and the West Bank.
Obama asked Netanyahu to take steps to build "confidence" in the peace process in "honest and straightforward" talks, the White House said Wednesday.
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Thursday, March 25th 2010
AFP
           


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