‘Victory for Palestine’: UN votes 128-9 to reject US decision on Jerusalem

Published: December 21, 2017
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The voting results are displayed on the floor of the United Nations General Assembly in which the United States declaration of Jerusalem as Israel's capital was declared "null and void" on December 21, 2017 in New York City. PHOTO: AFP

The voting results are displayed on the floor of the United Nations General Assembly in which the United States declaration of Jerusalem as Israel's capital was declared "null and void" on December 21, 2017 in New York City. PHOTO: AFP

UNITED NATIONS: The UN General Assembly on Thursday adopted by a decisive vote of 128 to nine, with 35 abstentions, a motion rejecting the US decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

President Donald Trump had warned ahead of the vote in the 193-nation assembly that “we’re watching” and threatened reprisals against countries backing the measure, which reaffirms that the status of Jerusalem must be resolved through negotiations.

Seven countries — Guatemala, Honduras, Togo, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau and the Marshall Islands — joined Israel and the United States in opposing the measure.

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Among the 35 countries that abstained were Argentina, Australia, Canada, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Mexico, the Philippines, Romania and Rwanda.

Ukraine, which supported the draft resolution at the Security Council, was among 21 countries that did not turn up for the vote.

The measure was sent to the General Assembly after it was vetoed by the United States at the Security Council on Monday, although all other 14 council members voted in favour.

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“The United States will remember this day,” US Ambassador Nikki Haley told the assembly.

“America will put our embassy in Jerusalem,” Haley said. “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,” she said.

“When we make generous contributions to the UN we also have a legitimate expectation that our goodwill is recognised and respected.”

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While resolutions by the General Assembly are non-binding, a strong vote in support carries political weight.

A spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas welcomed the vote as “a victory for Palestine”.

Nabil Abu Rdainah said, “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.”

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