UN General Assembly unanimously calls on US to revoke al-Quds decision
Thu Dec 21, 2017 05:22PM
The United Nations General Assembly has unanimously voted in favor of a resolution that calls on the US to withdraw its controversial recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as Israeli "capital."
The 193-nation assembly adopted the resolution on Thursday by a decisive vote of 128 to 9, with 35 abstentions.
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif took to Twitter, hailing the vote as a "resounding" negative reply to US President Donald Trump's "intimidation" in reference to his threat of reprisals against countries that support the measure.
Before the vote was held at the General Assembly, Trump had warned that "we're watching,"
threatening reprisals against countries that back the Jerusalem al-Quds resolution.
A spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas also welcomed the Thursday development.
"The vote is a victory for Palestine," said Nabil Abu Rdainah, who added, "We will continue our efforts in the United Nations and at all international forums to put an end to this occupation and to establish our Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital."
"This decision reaffirms once again that the just Palestinian cause enjoys the support of international law, and no decision by any party can change the reality," the Palestinian president's spokesman noted.
Meanwhile, Palestine's UN Envoy Riyad Mansour described the UN vote as a "massive setback" for the United States, saying, "One hundred twenty-eight versus nine -- that's a massive setback for the United States of America."
Hamas, Islamic Jihad welcome UN vote on Jerusalem al-Quds
Palestine’s Islamic Jihad movement also hailed the UN vote, describing it as a slap in the face for the United States and Israel.
In a statement released following the voting at the UN, the Islamic Jihad urged the Palestinian people to continue their uprising against Israel across the occupied territories.
In a related development, the Gaza-based Palestinian resistance movement, Hamas, welcomed the UN General Assembly resolution that called the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel's capital "null and void."
Fawzi Barhoum, a spokesman for Hamas, said in a statement that the resolution was "a step in the right direction" and "a blow to Trump's announcement."
The statement added that the resolution emphasized "the Palestinian right to the holy city."
Ahead of the voting, US Ambassador Nikki Haley took the podium warning that "the United States will remember this day."
"America will put our embassy in Jerusalem," Haley said, adding, "No vote in the United Nations will make any difference on that. But this vote will make a difference on how Americans look at the UN and on how we look at countries who disrespect us in the UN."
Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also reacted to the UN vote, noting that the UN members had shown that "dignity and sovereignty are not for sale.
In a post on his Twitter page, Cavusoglu noted that Turkey, Palestine and other co-sponsors of the resolution thanked every country that supported it at the UN General Assembly.
Prior to Thursday vote, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki appealed for support for the measure, saying the US was "undergoing an unprecedented test."
"History records names, it remembers names -- the names of those who stand by what is right and the names of those who speak falsehood. Today we are seekers of rights and peace," Maliki said.
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki addresses members of delegations at the UN General Assembly for the vote on resolution denouncing Trump’s decision to announce Jerusalem al-Quds as the capital of Israel, on December 15, 2017, at UN Headquarters in New York. (Photo by AFP)
Iran’s ambassador to the UN also condemned Trump’s decision to announce Jerusalem al-Quds as the capital of the Zionist regime, noting that the Tel Aviv regime was at the center of all crises and conflicts in the Middle East.
Gholamali Khoshru added that the “illegal decision” made by the US administration to recognize Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel's capital and move its embassy there had proven beyond any doubt that the United States only thinks about maximizing the interests of the Zionist regime without any respect for the legitimate rights of Palestinians, including their right to self-determination.
Additionally, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu addressed the General Assembly meeting, saying that it is “unethical to think the votes and dignity of member states are for sale."
He further noted that Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s "capital" violated international law and relevant UN resolutions.
Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu addresses the General Assembly prior to a vote on Trump’s decision on Jerusalem al-Quds on December 21, 2017, at UN Headquarters in New York. (Photo by AFP)
"Turkey will never let al-Quds down. The Palestinian people will never be left alone. The world is bigger than five," he said, referring to US veto of the UN Security Council resolution on Monday, which affirmed that any decisions on the status of Jerusalem were "null and void and must be rescinded."
Fourteen members of the 15-member council had voted in favor of the Egyptian-drafted resolution, which did not specifically name the US or Trump but expressed “deep regret at recent decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem” al-Quds, while US Ambassador Nikki Haley wielded Washington’s veto against the call.
Israel, however, rejected the world body’s resolution while thanking Trump for his decision to move US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem al-Quds.
"Israel rejects the UN decision and at the same time is satisfied with the high number of countries that did not vote in its favor," AFP quoted a statement from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office as saying.
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