Jerusalem housing vote cancelled ahead of Kerry peace speech

A settlement near the Palestinian East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sur Baher is seen Tuesday.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has also recalled Israel's ambassadors from Senegal, ended aid programmes to Senegal and pledged to cut off US$7.9 million ($11.46m) in Israeli funding to United Nations institutions. -Israeli relations, a local official said.

A key Democratic leader on Capitol Hill is calling on Secretary of State John Kerry to cancel his Middle East peace speech scheduled for Wednesday - coming days after the USA allowed an anti-Israel resolution to pass the United Nations.

The measure passed on Friday after the USA abstained from voting or vetoing.

On Sunday, David Keyes, spokesman for Netanyahu, told Fox News that Israel has "ironclad information" on Washington's involvement in the United Nations resolution.

A senior US State Department official told reporters that Kerry will speak on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on Wednesday.

Hanan Rubin, a Jerusalem city councillor and a member of the planning committee that was to discuss the permits, told AFP its members had been informed of the request by the committee chairman. He said the zoning committee agreed to abide because they had no interest in "causing a political storm". "We'll recall our ambassador to Jerusalem".

The vote could also be seen as an attempt to preempt Trump, who appears ready to shift US policy to the opposite extreme after naming a militant advocate of the settlements as his ambassador to Israel. The newspaper said the Israeli prime minister's harsh words for Shapiro were "unprecedented" and were a sign of how enraged Netanyahu had become over what he saw as a "betrayal" in the Security Council.

"We're just continuing with what we were doing, business as usual, and that's really it at this moment".

"We believe that with the two-state solution in peril, it is important to share the deeper understanding we have developed of both sides' bottom lines during intensive consultations in recent years", the official said.

North Carolina Republicans Reneg On Promise To Fully Repeal HB2
The Council acknowledges that North Carolina House Bill 2 "supersede (s) and preempt (s)" the City's Ordinance. The Charlotte City Council scheduled an emergency session Wednesday morning to do just that, WFAE reports .

Ties between the US and Israel remain strained and Israeli officials are ramping up their criticism of the Obama Administration.

The Israeli government is also discrediting a French-hosted summit on Israeli-Palestinian peace, scheduled for next month in the final days before President Barack Obama leaves office.

According to The Times of Israel, "Kerry is quoted as saying that he could present his ideas for a final status solution if the Palestinians pledge they will support the proposed framework".

On Dec. 23, the 15-member Security Council voted to adopt a non-binding resolution, stating that establishing Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory is a "major obstacle" to a two-state solution for peace in the Middle East.

She said if you visit one of the larger settlements, numerous people there have come for the relatively affordable housing, and there are lots of advertisements for big Israeli real estate companies.

By Sunday, cabinet ministers were reportedly ordered to stop traveling to or meeting with officials of countries that voted in favour of the United Nations resolution.

Israel has since accused the US of being behind the resolution.

Netanyahu holds Obama personally responsible for the USA abstaining from the Security Council vote, The Jewish Press reported. Those plans got scrapped after the proposal's original sponsor, Egypt, forced a delay, for a day. It described Netanyahu being sharp and caustic in a phone call to New Zealand's foreign minister, Murray McCully, calling the resolution "a declaration of war".

He said his immediate response includes the withholding of almost $8 million in funding to unnamed institutions, and said "there is more to come."He did not elaborate, but later recalled ambassadors from New Zealand and Senegal, two of the resolution's four sponsors".

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