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Trump tells Israel 'to stay strong'
Donald Trump tells Israel 'to stay strong'
2016-12-28 14:50:17 UTC
2016-12-28 15:25:08 UTC
(35 minutes later)
Donald Trump urges Israel to "stay strong" until he takes office, says cannot allow it to be "treated with disdain" US President-elect Donald Trump has urged Israel to "stay strong" until he assumes office next month.
This breaking news story is being updated and more details will be published shortly. Please refresh the page for the fullest version. In comments referring to last week's UN Security Council vote which criticised Israeli settlement building on occupied land, he complained Israel had been treated with "disdain and disrespect".
If you want to receive Breaking News alerts via email, or on a smartphone or tablet via the BBC News App then details on how to do so are available on this help page. You can also follow @BBCBreaking on Twitter to get the latest alerts. It is his latest unprecedented outburst on the social media network Twitter.
Critics have urged the president-elect to use more conventional channels to communicate on international matters.
On Friday, the US chose not to veto a UN Security Council resolution calling for an end to Israeli settlement construction.
In two tweets issued on Wednesday morning New York time, Mr Trump said: "We cannot continue to let Israel be treated with such total disdain and disrespect.
"They used to have a great friend in the US, but... not anymore. The beginning of the end was the horrible Iran deal, and now this (UN)! Stay strong Israel, January 20th is fast approaching!"
More than 500,000 Jews live in about 140 settlements built since Israel's 1967 occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The settlements are considered illegal under international law, though Israel disputes this.
The UN Security Council resolution passed on Friday stated that the establishment of settlements "has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-state solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace".
The US decision to abstain infuriated Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose spokesman said on Tuesday that he had "ironclad information" from Arab sources that the White House had helped draft the language of the resolution and "pushed hard" for its passage.
A US state department spokesman replied that the accusation was "just not true", but he hoped the resolution would "serve as a wake-up call" for Israel.