UN council weighs measure rejecting US Jerusalem decision

AFP | Published — Saturday 16 December 2017

 


The United Nations Security Council meets concerning North Korea’s nuclear ambitions, on Friday in New York City. (AFP)

 

UNITED NATIONS, United States: The UN Security Council is considering a draft resolution that would affirm that any change to the status of Jerusalem has no legal effect and must be rescinded, in response to the US decision to recognize the city as Israel’s capital.

Egypt circulated the draft text on Saturday and diplomats said the council could vote on the proposed measure as early as Monday.

Breaking with the international consensus, US President Donald Trump this month announced that he would recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the US embassy there from Tel Aviv, sparking protests and strong condemnation.

The draft resolution obtained by AFP stresses that Jerusalem is an issue “to be resolved through negotiations” and expresses “deep regret at recent decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem,” without specifically mentioning Trump’s move.

It affirms that “any decisions and actions which purport to have altered the character, status or demographic composition” of Jerusalem “have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded.”

Diplomats said they expected the United States to use its veto power to block the measure while most, if not all, of the 14 other council members were expected to back the draft resolution.

The status of Jerusalem is one of the most controversial issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Israel seized control of the eastern part of the city in the 1967 Middle East war and sees the whole of Jerusalem as its undivided capital. The Palestinians view the east as the capital of their future state.

The United States found itself isolated at the Security Council last week when all 14 other members including allies Britain, France and Italy condemned its decision.

Several UN resolutions call on Israel to withdraw from territory seized during the 1967 war and have reaffirmed the need to end the occupation of that land.

In 1980, the council adopted a resolution stating that “all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying power, which purport to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal validity.”

The United States abstained in that vote, allowing the measure to pass.

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