U.S. Restricts Staff Movement in West Bank as 'Precaution'

Move comes a day after the U.S. vetoed a UN Security Council resolution that would have condemned Israel's policy of settlement building.

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The United States consulate in Jerusalem is restricting staff movement in some Palestinian areas of the West Bank. The move comes a day after the U.S. vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution that would have condemned Israel's policy of building settlements in the West Bank.

Staffers are now banned from personal travel to the town of Jericho, and prohibited from using a border crossing frequented by Palestinians. They are also banned from using some roads. The bans were issued Saturday and will last until Monday.

A Palestinian protester runs from Israeli security forces during clashes in the West Bank village of Bilin near Ramallah February 18, 2011.Credit: Reuters

A consular official says it's a precautionary move.

There is anger towards the U.S. for the veto. Earlier Saturday, hundreds of Palestinians demonstrated against the U.S. in the West Bank towns of Tulkarm and Nablus.

The U.S. on Friday voted against a United Nations Security Council draft resolution that would have condemned Israeli settlements as illegal. The veto by the U.S., a permanent council member, prevented the resolution from being adopted.

The other 14 Security Council members voted in favor of the draft resolution. But the U.S., as one of five permanent council members with the power to block any action by the Security Council, struck it down.

The resolution had nearly 120 co-sponsors. The Obama administration's veto is certain to anger Arab countries and Palestinian supporters around the world.

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