The adopted UN Security Council resolution calling for an immediate halt to settlement activity on the West Bank "reflects the facts on the ground" and "is consistent with US policy" over a number of administrations, US ambassador to the UN Samantha Power said.
She said the settlement issue undermines Israel's security and "the very viability of the two-state solution".
The issue has grown more urgent, Power says, noting that since the 1993 Oslo Accords, the number of West Bank settlers has grown by 355,000 and now exceeds 590,000.
She said the rare US abstention did not in any way diminish the US' "steadfast support of Israel's security", noting that the Obama administration had provided "unprecedented" support to Israel.
Roughly 500,000 Israeli settlers currently live on more than 100 Jewish-only settlements built in the West Bank since Israel occupied the territory - along with East Jerusalem - in 1967.
The Palestinians want these areas, along with the Gaza Strip, for the establishment of a future Palestinian state.
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