In the dying days of his presidency, Barack Obama caused a diplomatic storm on Friday by doing nothing.
The US abstention on a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution condemning Israeli settlements has left Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu furious - but observers are divided over how much difference the vote will actually make.
There was nothing new to the substance of UNSC Resolution 2334, which reaffirmed long-standing positions of the international community, including previous UNSC resolutions, about the illegality of Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory. So, was that enough to prompt outrage from Netanyahu and his coalition partners?
Nadia Hijab, executive director of Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network, notes the significance of paragraph 5, which calls on "all States … to distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967". This, she told Al Jazeera, "is effectively a call to cease trade, economic and financial transactions with the settlements".