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Kerry urges advance on two-state solution after vote

John Kerry addresses the media earlier this year. Credit: Reuters

US Secretary of State John Kerry has called on Israel and Palestinians to advance prospects of a two-state solution.

He said the US did not agree with every aspect of the resolution, but the UN measure "rightly condemns violence and incitement and settlement activity and calls on both sides to take constructive steps to reverse current trends and advance the prospects for a two-state solution."

Palestinian ambassador: Vote will give peace to the world

The Palestinian Ambassador to the UN has hailed Friday's vote and said it will provide "peace for Palestine, peace for Israel, peace for the Middle East and peace for our world."

Addressing Council members after the vote, Riyad Mansour said: "The council's action, while long overdue, is timely, necessary and important."

We express our appreciation to all council members supporting this resolution... they have adopted this resolution on behalf of the international community, reflecting the long-standing global consensus on the matter.

Over the years, we have made countless appeals to the Council to uphold this charter - insisting on the need for concerted action to confront Israel's oppression of the Palestinian people and relentless colonisation of our land under half-a-century foreign occupation.

– Riyad Mansour

The Palestinians have long demanded an independent state in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem - areas Israel captured in a 1967 war.

Mansour described Palestinians as "a defenceless civilian population denied their rights, dignity and humanity."

"Urgent efforts are needed to reverse the dangerous negative trends... to advance our collective efforts to end the Israel occupation that began in 1967, and achieve freedom, rights and justice for the Palestinian people - including the Palestine refugees."

He added: "Today's resolution may rightly be seen as a last attempt to preserve the two-state solution and revive the path for peace."

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Israeli ambassador to UN slams 'evil' vote on settlements

A senior Israeli politician has accused the UN Security Council of "hypocrisy" after it voted to stop the country building new settlements on occupied Palestinian territory.

Danny Danon, the Israeli ambassador to the council, said the "evil" vote was a "victory for terror, a victory for hatred and violence".

"Who gave you the right to issue such a decree, denying our eternal rights in Jerusalem?" he added.

While thousands are being massacred in Syria, this council wasted valuable time and effort condemning the democratic state of Israel for building homes in the historic homeland of the Jewish people.

We have presented the truth time and again to this council, and implored you not to believe the lies presented in this resolution.

By voting 'yes', in favour of this resolution, you have in fact voted 'no'. You voted no to negotiations, you voted no to progress, and a chance of better lives for Israelis and Palestinians. And you voted no to the possibility of peace.

– Danny Danon, Israeli ambassador to UN Security Council

Palestinian official hails UN vote as 'a day of victory'

Saeb Erekat holds up a map of Israel during a speech in January. Credit: Reuters

A senior Palestinian official has hailed the UN Security Council vote as "a day of victory".

Chief Palestinian Negotiator Saeb Erekat said: "This is a day of victory for international law, a victory for civilised language and negotiation and a total rejection of extremist forces in Israel.

"The international community has told the people of Israel that the way to security and peace is not going to be done through occupation... but rather through peace, ending the occupation and establishing a Palestinian state to live side by side with the state of Israel on the 1967 line", he added.

Trump on UN vote: Things will be different on January 20

Commenting on the UN resolution demanding Israel stop building settlements on occupied Palestinian territory, President-elect Trump has tweeted that "things will be different after January 20" - referring to his planned inauguration.

Washington allowed the UN Security Council to adopt a resolution by abstaining from the vote.

Paul Ryan: UN Security Council vote absolutely shameful

Paul Ryan addresses a crowd earlier this month. Credit: Reuters

US House of Representatives speaker Paul Ryan and Republican Senator John McCain have slammed the Obama administration's decision to abstain in the UN Security Council vote.

In a statement, Ryan said the decision was "absolutely shameful" and a "blow to peace".

Meanwhile McCain said the move "has made us complicit in this outrageous attack."

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'The US has abandoned its only friend in the Middle East'

Yuval Steinitz attends a news conference earlier this year. Credit: Reuters

Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz has said the US has abandoned Israel by abstaining in a UN Security Council vote demanding an end to Israeli settlements.

He told Channel Two News: "This is not a resolution against settlements, it is an anti-Israel resolution, against the Jewish people and the state of the Jews. The United States tonight has simply abandoned its only friend in the Middle East."

US defend UN vote on Israel settlements

A construction site is seen in the Israeli settlement of Beitar Ilit. Credit: Reuters

The US Ambassador to the UN has said Israel's continued settlement building "seriously undermines Israel's security".

Washington allowed the UN Security Council to adopt a resolution by abstaining from the vote.

Samantha Power told the council after the vote: "The United States has been sending a message that the settlements must stop privately and publicly for nearly five decades.

"One cannot simultaneously champion expanding Israeli settlements and champion a viable two state solution that would end the conflict. One had to make a choice between settlements and separation."

UN votes to stop Israel building on occupied territory

A construction site, pictured on the Israeli settlement of Givat Zeev, in the occupied West Bank. Credit: Reuters

The UN Security Council has passed a resolution demanding Israel stop building settlements on occupied Palestinian territory.

The resolution was put forward at the 15-member council by New Zealand, Malaysia, Venezuela and Senegal.

Egypt withdrew from voting on Thursday after coming under pressure from Israel.

The US abstained after Donald Trump called on the country to veto the measure.

The motion was adopted with 14 votes in favour to a round of applause.

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