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By Michelle Nichols

UN likely to vote Monday on call for Israel to stop settlements -diplomats

An aerial view shows a cluster of mobile homes in Beit Hogla, a settlement in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, February 15, 2023. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

The United Nations Security Council is considering a draft resolution, seen by Reuters on Wednesday, that would demand Israel "immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory."

The 15-member council is likely to vote on Monday on the text, drafted by the United Arab Emirates in coordination with the Palestinians, diplomats said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government on Sunday authorized nine Jewish settler outposts in the occupied West Bank and announced mass construction of new homes in established settlements, prompting U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken to say he was "deeply troubled."

In December 2016 the Security Council demanded Israel stop building the settlements. It adopted a resolution after U.S. President Barack Obama's administration abstained, a reversal of its practice to protect Israel from UN action.

The U.S. mission to the United Nations and Israel's UN mission did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the draft resolution.

The text "reaffirms that the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law."

It also condemns all attempts at annexation, including decisions and measures by Israel regarding settlements.

Most world powers view as illegal the settlements Israel has built on land it captured in a 1967 war with Arab powers. Israel disputes that and cites biblical, historical and political links to the West Bank, as well as security interests.

(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Kanishka Singh and Howard Goller)

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