Abbas: We've Waited and Now the World Has Spoken - Israel's Settlements Are Illegitimate

Netanyahu called the resolution 'crazy' and assured the Israeli public that it would be overcome.

FILE PHOTO: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016.
FILE PHOTO: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. Majdi Mohammed/AP

In his first public response following the UN Security Council vote on Israeli settlements, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the Security Council resolution "doesn’t solve the Palestinian problem, but it defines it."

"The world has explicitly said that there's a need to end the occupation and reach a two-state solution," Abbas said during a Christmas event in Bethlehem.

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Samantha Power, center, the U.S. envoy to the UN, votes to abstain during a Security Council vote on Israel's settlements, December 23, 2016 at United Nations Headquarters.
Manuel Elias, AP

According to Abbas, the UN's decision is a "clear statement by the world according to which the settlement enterprise in the territories occupied in 1967, including Jerusalem, are illegitimate enterprise. We have waited 35 years for the world to speak (since the last UN Security Council resolution), and finally the world has spoken."

In his first public reaction to the vote, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Saturday that the Obama administration has carried out an "underhanded and an anti-Israel maneuver" at the UN Security Council.

Netanyahu called the resolution "crazy" and assured the Israeli public that it would be overcome. "We are not alone," he said, recounting that he had spoken to members of Congress, both Republicans and Democrats, who have pledge to fight to resolution and who Netanyahu said told him "We won't allow anyone to harm the State of Israel."

Following the vote, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' spokesman said the vote was a blow to Israel.

"The Security Council resolution is a big blow to Israeli policy, a unanimous international condemnation of settlements and a strong support for the two-state solution," spokesman Nabil Abu Rdainah said in a statement.

The Palestinian envoy told the UN Security Council that that the resolution is a "necessary step for addressing a 70-year open wound" of the occupation.