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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday Oct. 1, 2013 at the United Nations headquarters. (AP Photo/Andrew Gombert,Pool)

Netanyahu told New Zealand the UN resolution would be considered a 'declaration of war'


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly warned New Zealand's Foreign Minister Murray McCully that supporting a United Nations resolution condemning the country for building settlements on occupied Palestinian land would be considered a "declaration of war." 

"This is a scandalous decision," Netanyahu said in a phone call to McCully. "I'm asking that you not support it and not promote it." Israel also threatened to cut ties with other countries that voted in favor of the resolution. 

Threatened to close Israeli embassy

McCully, however, refused to back down and told the Israeli leader the resolution reflects New Zealand's policy, according to The Guardian.

In addition to Netanyahu's call, a senior official in Israel's foreign ministry called Jonathan Curr, New Zealand's ambassador to Israel, and threatened to close the country's embassy in Wellington if the resolution was voted on. 

'Jewish or democratic'

The United States, which has been a longtime defender of Israel, abstained from voting on the United Nations resolution.

Secretary of State John Kerry defended the move Wednesday during an address, saying the Obama administration has done more for Israel than any other U.S. administration. 

"If the choice is one state, Israel can either be Jewish or democratic. It cannot be both and it won't ever really be in peace," he said.

Netanyahu told New Zealand the UN resolution would be considered a 'declaration of war'

WATCH  | Netanyahu responded to Kerry's speech within minutes, calling it a "disappointment."

"Secretary Kerry paid lip service to the unremitting campaign of terrorism that has been waged by the Palestinians against the Jewish state for nearly a century," he said. 

Trump's tweets

President-elect Donald Trump also criticized the Obama administration's actions. 

"We cannot continue to let Israel be treated with such total disdain and disrespect," Trump wrote on Twitter.

Traditionally, U.S. political rivals leave politics at the shoreline -- they tend to speak with one voice when it comes to foreign policy issues of this nature.

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