President-elect Donald Trump urged the UN Security Council to block a resolution to halt Israeli settlements today (22 December).

"The resolution being considered at the United Nations Security Council regarding Israel should be vetoed," Trump said in a statement issued from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida.

"As the United States has long maintained," he said, "peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians will only come through direct negotiations between the parties, and not through the imposition of terms by the United Nations."

The resolution put before the council calls on Israel to "immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem." It was brought by Egypt to the UN Security Council on Wednesday night. Palestinians stake claim to the land. Egypt's term date as a non-permanent member on the council is up next year.

Under President Barack Obama in 2011 the US vetoed a resolution condemning Israeli settlements. Any of the five permanent members of the 15-member council can veto resolutions.

In September 2016 Obama signed an agreement with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the US to give Israel $38bn (£31bn) in military aid over the next 10 years. It's the largest aid package of its kind that has ever been issued by the US.

Less than a month later, Obama condemned Netanyahu for going ahead with a plan to build 98 new homes in a northern West Bank settlement on occupied Palestinian land. The White House saw it as backtracking on Netanyahu's assurances given during negotiations for the aid package. "There is a disappointment and great concern here at the White House," said White House spokesman Josh Earnest.

Netanyahu is now urging Obama to veto Egypt's resolution. Early today he wrote on Twitter that the United States "should veto the anti-Israel resolution at the UN Security Council."

The resolution, Trump said, would put "Israel in a very poor negotiating position" and called it "extremely unfair to all Israelis."