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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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Syrian government blamed for third toxic gas attack

  • Video report by ITV News reporter Olivia Kinsley

The Syrian government has been blamed for a third toxic gas attack, according to a confidential report to the UN Security Council.

The fourth report from a 13-month-long inquiry by the UN and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons blamed government forces for an attack in Qmenas on March 16 last year.

A report in August blamed the Syrian government for two chlorine attacks in 2014 and 2015 and said so-called Islamic State had used sulfur mustard gas.

The new report sets up a potential showdown between Russia and western Security Council members over how to respond.

It said Syrian government forces had used helicopters to drop barrel bombs, which then released chlorine gas. However, it "could not confirm the names of the individuals who had command and control of the helicopter squadrons at the time".

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