Israel reportedly downgrades ties with New Zealand, Senegal over UN anti-settlement resolution


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel is permanently downgrading its diplomatic ties with New Zealand and Senegal, two of the co-sponsors of an anti-settlement resolution passed in the United Nations, according to an Israeli newspaper report.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided last week not to return the two ambassadors, The Times of Israel reported Friday, citing a “senior source intimately familiar with the issue.”

Israel had recalled the ambassadors after Resolution 2334 passed in late December. The resolution passed by a vote of 14-0 with one abstention, the United States.

According to the report, not returning resident ambassadors to the country is not a formal demotion of ties, but relying on a charge d’affairs in the two countries effectively downgrades the ties.

Netanyahu reportedly ordered a halt to Israeli aid to Senegal in the wake of the resolution’s passage.

Venezuela and Malaysia were the other two co-sponsors.

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