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Israel urges US to Decline UN Security Council Draft Resolution on Jewish Settlements

The vote, expected on Thursday, would be one of the last chances for President Obama to stop Jews from continued settlement building in territories where the Palestinians seek to build their state

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Jerusalem, Dec 23, 2016: Israel on Thursday urged the US to veto a UN Security Council draft resolution that demands an immediate halt to settlement construction in the occupied West Bank.

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“The US should veto the anti-Israel resolution at the UN Security Council on Thursday,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wrote on his Twitter account.

Hours later, President-elect Donald Trump also urged President Barack Obama to exercise the veto.

“The resolution being considered at the United Nations Security Council regarding Israel should be vetoed,” Trump said in a post on Twitter and Facebook.

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“As the US has long maintained, peace between the Israelis and Palestinians will only come through direct negotiations between the parties, and not through the imposition of terms by the United Nations.”

The vote, expected on Thursday, would be one of the last chances for President Obama to stop Jews from continued settlement building in territories where the Palestinians seek to build their state.

The draft resolution, sponsored by Egypt, asserts that the settlements “have no legal validity” and are “a flagrant violation” of international laws.

It demands that Israel “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.”

Israel captured the West Bank, along with the Gaza Strip, in the 1967 Mideast War. About a decade later, right-wing Israelis started to establish settlements on these lands.

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The US sees the settlements, which are illegal by the international laws, as an obstacle to peace.

The Palestinians have vowed not to return to the negotiating table unless Israel freezes its settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. (IANS)

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USA: Everything you want to know about Security Clearance; Find out here!

A security clearance allows a person access to classified national security information or restricted areas.

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Former CIA Director John O. Brennan speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, March 11, 2014. President Donald Trump revoked Brennan's security clearance Wednesday. VOA
Former CIA Director John O. Brennan speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, March 11, 2014. President Donald Trump revoked Brennan's security clearance Wednesday. VOA

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan. We take a look at what that means.

What is a security clearance?

A security clearance allows a person access to classified national security information or restricted areas after completion of a background check. The clearance by itself does not guarantee unlimited access. The agency seeking the clearance must determine what specific area of information the person needs to access.

What are the different levels of security clearance?

There are three levels: Confidential, secret and top secret. Security clearances don’t expire. But, top secret clearances are reinvestigated every five years, secret clearances every 10 years and confidential clearances every 15 years.

All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance. VOA
All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance. VOA

Who has security clearances?

According to a Government Accountability Office report released last year, about 4.2 million people had a security clearance as of 2015, they included military personnel, civil servants, and government contractors.

Why does one need a security clearance in retirement?

Retired senior intelligence officials and military officers need their security clearances in case they are called to consult on sensitive issues.

Also Read: Governments Across The World Request Apple for 30,000 Device Information

Can the president revoke a security clearance?

Apparently. But there is no precedent for a president revoking someone’s security clearance. A security clearance is usually revoked by the agency that sought it for an employee or contractor. All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance, which can include criminal acts, lack of allegiance to the United States, behavior or situation that could compromise an individual and security violations. (VOA)