Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stepped up retaliatory measures in wake of a UN Security Council vote that condemned Israeli settlements on Palestinian land as a “flagrant violation” of international law. The resolution managed to pass on Friday thanks to an abstention by the US, the country’s closest ally, which has been widely interpreted as a parting shot from outgoing US President Barack Obama. The US has previously used its veto as a permanent member of the council to scupper similar proposals since 1979, but relations between the Obama administration and the Israeli government have steadily declined over the last eight years. Mr Netanyahu has said that he will do “all it takes” to ensure Israel emerges “unscathed” by the diplomatic fallout from the vote, on Sunday summoning the ambassadors of 12 of the 14 countries who voted in favour of the resolution, including the UK, France, Russia and China. The American ambassador Dan Shapiro was also called in for a separate meeting, Israeli media reported. It is unclear when that meeting will take place.
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Newsline: Israel summons 13 ambassadors