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Israel warned New Zealand that UN resolution was 'declaration of war'

Published: December 28, 2016
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Source: The Age

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu personally phoned New Zealand's Foreign Minister Murray McCully to warn him a UN resolution co-sponsored by the country was a "declaration of war",  according to a leading Israeli newspaper.

The UN Security Council resolution called for Israel to stop building settlements on occupied Palestinian land, including East Jerusalem, declaring the settlements "illegal".

It was picked up and sponsored by New Zealand and three other countries after US President-elect Donald Trump reportedly pressured Egypt into dropping it.

It was passed on Saturday after the US abstained instead of vetoing, as they historically have done on votes concerning Israel.

In the aftermath, Israel has withdrawn its ambassador to New Zealand and barred New Zealand's ambassador to Israel.

Netanyahu lashed out at other Security Council countries by curbing diplomatic contacts, recalling envoys, cutting off aid and summoning the US ambassador for a scolding. Netanyahu has publicly called it a "shameful anti-Israel resolution".

The Israeli daily Haaretzciting unnamed Western diplomats, reported that a "harsh" phone call took place between Netanyahu and McCully on the day of the vote. 

"This is a scandalous decision. I'm asking that you not support it and not promote it," Netanyahu reportedly told McCully.

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