CAIRO, Dec. 24 (Xinhua) -- The Arab world received Friday's endorsed United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution demanding immediate and complete halt of Israeli settlement activities on occupied Palestinian territories.
Arab League (AL) Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit congratulated the Palestinian people and government on the "pivotal" resolution that was endorsed by a large majority and after more than 35 years of attempts to issue a similar resolution.
"The resolution reflects massive international support for the historical struggle of the Palestinian people to get their legitimate rights, atop of which is the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital," said the AL chief in a statement Saturday.
The resolution was endorsed Friday by 14 out of the council's 15 member states, while the United States, Israel's biggest ally, abstained but did not veto despite attempts of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump.
Egypt, which initially proposed the draft resolution, attempted to delay the whole vote on the resolution, which was seen as response to pressure from Trump, yet the Egyptian foreign ministry later explained that the requested delay was only meant to make sure veto right will not be exercised against the resolution.
The draft resolution was later on Friday resubmitted by New Zealand, Venezuela, Malaysia and Senegal and it was massively endorsed.
Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat, also Secretary-General of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), thanked in a phone call on Saturday Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry for Egypt's vote in favor of the resolution.
"Erekat reiterated confidence of the Palestinian people in Egypt due to its care and defense of the Palestinian cause," said the Egyptian foreign ministry in a statement.
The spokesman of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas hailed the adoption of the resolution as a "day of victory," and described it as "a blow to the Israeli policy."
Earlier in December, the Knesset, Israel's parliament, has initially approved a couple of controversial pro-settlement bills that are meant to retroactively legalize about 4,000 settlement homes as well as unauthorized Israeli outposts and to allow expropriation of more Palestinian lands in the West Bank.
Over 400,000 Israeli settlers currently live in the West Bank and at least 200,000 others live in East Jerusalem, which the Palestinians see as the capital city of their future state.
The Arab Parliament also hailed in a statement Saturday the UN anti-settlement vote and regarded it as "a step on the way of returning the rights of the oppressed Palestinian people who started to yield the fruits of their struggle."
The Arab Parliament's chief Meshal al-Sulami called on the UNSC to pressure Israel to implement the resolution as well as the rest of UN relevant resolutions to achieve the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.
The resolution was also praised by many Arab states including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Jordan, Sudan, Lebanon, Tunisia, Yemen and others, mostly describing it as "historic."
Among non-Arabs, the anti-settlement resolution was welcomed by regional powers such as Turkey and Iran, several bodies including the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and Amnesty International, and world figures including UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
Israel is blamed by the international community for the deadlock of the Middle East peace process due to its settlement expansion policy that is rejected even by the United States.
Supported by the United States, Russia, China, the European Union and many others, a UN-sponsored two-state solution seeks to put an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict via the establishment of an independent Palestinian state within the 1967 borders.