The government of Israel has protested against New Zealand’s co-sponsoring the United Nations resolution by criticizing Israel’s illegal settlements in occupied territories by withdrawing their ambassador.
Murray McCully, the foreign minister of New Zealand defended his country’s position and said that Israel should not have been surprised.
Other countries who brought the resolution to UN along with New Zealand include, Senegal, Venezuela and Malaysia, Israel made a massive diplomatic effort to stop the resolution they even directly asked the president-elect of United States, Donald Trump.
Ofir Gendelman, the spokesperson for the Israeli prime minister tweeted that both their ambassadors to New Zealand and Malaysia have been recalled. Malaysia and Venezuela do not have any diplomatic relations with Israel.
He said: “These steps are taken against countries that have tabled the draft resolution to the UNSC and diplomatic relations with Israel.”
The resolution was passed 14-0 and it is the first resolution to be passed in 38 years that condemns Israel for building illegal settlements on occupied land.
Egypt had been persuaded by Israel and by statements by Donald Trump to postpone the vote, but the remaining members pushed through and even Egypt voted in support along with all the remaining members.
The foreign minister of New Zealand Murray McCully told media:
“It underscores the fact that Israel is strongly opposed to the council position on the issue. That is not a great surprise to us. But we hope that the friendship that has existed between the two countries will be able to endure regardless of different view on this issue.”
He further said: “It is a victory for those who are keen to see the Security Council take some action on the Middle East peace process after eight years of complete inaction.”
In a statement New Zealand foreign minister Murray McCully said: Israel has informed us of their decision to recall their ambassador to New Zealand for consultations”.
He further said, “We have been very open about our view that the [security council] should be doing more to support the Middle East peace process and the position we adopted today is totally in line with our long established policy on the Palestinian question.
“The vote today should not come as a surprise to anyone and we look forward to continuing to engage constructively with all parties on this issue.”
There are almost 430,000 settlers living in the West Bank, another 200,000 Israelis live in east Jerusalem, keep in mind that Palestinians consider east Jerusalem as the capital of their future and country.