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UN Security Council votes to end Israeli settlements, U.S. abstains

The U.N. Security Council on Friday voted in favor of a resolution against Israeli settlements. The U.S. did not use its veto, as President-elect Donald Trump and several senators had pushed it to do, and instead abstained from voting on whether or not Israel should build settlements on Palestinian land.

The abstention marks a break from America's typical position as "Israel's sturdiest shield," The New York Times reported, belying the Obama administration's frustration with the problems settlement-building poses to a two-state solution. The resolution encouraged Palestine and Israel to resume talks about establishing two independent nations.

The resolution's passage came a day after Egypt, which proposed the measure, postponed the vote after Trump spoke with the Egyptian president. The council pushed the resolution to a vote anyway Friday, marking what The Washington Post noted is "the first time in more than 36 years that the Security Council passed a resolution critical of settlements."