Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during his annual end-of-year address to foreign journalists in Jerusalem on December 20, 2016. / AFP / GIL COHEN-MAGEN
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Israel urged the United States Thursday to veto a U.N. Security Council draft resolution calling for an immediate halt to settlement building on occupied land that Palestinians want for a state.Egypt circulated the draft Wednesday evening and the 15-member council is due to vote at 3 p.m. ET (2000 GMT) Thursday, diplomats said. It was unclear, they said, how the United States, which has protected Israel from U.N. action, would vote.Israel's far-right and settler leaders have been buoyed by the election of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. He has already signaled a possible change in U.S. policy by appointing one his lawyers -- a fundraiser for a major Israeli settlement -- as Washington's new ambassador to Israel.In 2011, the United States vetoed a draft resolution condemning Israeli settlements after the Palestinians refused a compromise offer from Washington.
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