[Ed. – This is big. Egypt was sponsoring the vote, and Obama was ready to refrain from vetoing the resolution on the Security Council.]
Egypt postponed a U.N. Security Council vote on Thursday on a resolution demanding an end to Israeli settlement building and diplomats said Cairo had acted under pressure from Israel and to avoid alienating U.S. President-elect Donald Trump.
A vote would have forced U.S. President Barack Obama to decide in his last month in office whether to shield Israel with a veto, or, by abstaining, to register criticism of the building on occupied land that the Palestinians want for a state.
Obama has been considering whether to lay out parameters for an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement or to allow a critical resolution through the Council before he steps down in the hopes this might ultimately help to end the conflict.
U.S. officials have voiced growing fears that a “two-state” solution is imperiled by Israeli settlement building and so have been more willing to voice open criticism of it.