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Hamas welcomes landmark UN vote on Israel settlements

By AFP - Dec 24,2016 - Last updated at Dec 24,2016

Gaza — Hamas on Saturday welcomed a landmark UN Security Council vote demanding a halt to Israeli settlements in occupied territory, with the Palestinian Islamist movement saying it marked an “important evolution”.

The UN Security Council on Friday demanded that Israel halt settlements in Palestinian territory, after the United States refrained from vetoing the resolution condemning its closest Middle East ally.

Hamas, which runs the Gaza Strip, remains deeply divided from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fateh party, which dominates the occupied West Bank.

“Hamas appreciates the position of the countries that voted in the Security Council for the right of the Palestinian people [to live] on their land,” said Hamas spokesman Fawzy Barhoum.

“We salute this important evolution in international positions,” he said, while calling for more such actions to bring about “the end of the occupation”.

Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005, but has occupied the West Bank for nearly 50 years. 

There have been growing warnings that settlement units in the West Bank are fast eroding the possibility of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Israel has launched three aggressions against Gaza since 2008, while the enclave has been under an Israeli blockade for around a decade. 

UN officials have called for the blockade to be lifted, saying conditions are deteriorating in the impoverished territory of 2 million people.

 

Israel says it is needed to keep Hamas from importing weapons or materials used to make them.

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