Saturday, December 16, 2017

UN Security Council Considering Resolution To Annul U.S. Jerusalem Decision, Snubbed By Abbas, U.S. VP To Skip Palestinians On Upcoming Trip

UN Security Council considering resolution to annul US Jerusalem decision

The United Nations Security Council is considering a draft resolution that would nullify US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Reuters reported Saturday.
According to the report, the one-page text, seen by the news agency, was drafted by Egypt and does not specifically mention the US or Trump.
Israeli envoy to the UN Danny Danon slammed the move as another Palestinian attempt to rewrite history.

“No vote or discussion can change the clear reality — Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, now and always. We will continue to fight for the historical truth, this time, together with our allies,” Danon said.

The report came a day after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Muslim nations would ask the United Nations for an “annulment” of Trump’s December 6 decision.
It’s highly unlikely that any resolution would pass the Security Council, where the US is one of five permanent members with a veto. US Ambassador Nikki Haley is a staunch supporter of Israel, who has made eliminating UN bias against Israel a key goal. Haley praised Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as “the just and right thing to do.”
Erdogan said the initiative would start at the UN Security Council, where a vote would carry more weight, but promised, if it was vetoed there, that “we will work within the UN General Assembly for the annulment of this unjust and lawless decision.” General Assembly decisions are non-binding.

The draft UN resolution “affirms that any decisions and actions which purport to have altered the character, status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded in compliance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council,” Reuters said.
It also “calls upon all States to refrain from the establishment of diplomatic missions in the Holy City of Jerusalem, pursuant to resolution 478 (1980) of the Security Council.” Trump in his declaration said he was giving instructions for the eventual relocation of the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The draft council resolution “demands that all states comply with Security Council resolutions regarding the Holy City of Jerusalem, and not to recognize any actions or measures contrary to those resolutions,” Reuters said.
In December 2016, toward the end of the Obama Administration, the Security Council voted through a resolution that “underlines that it will not recognize any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations.” Bitterly opposed by Israel, the vote passed 14-0 with the US abstaining. Trump’s transition team reportedly tried to block the resolution.
Erdogan’s comments followed Wednesday’s summit of Muslim and Arab nations — the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation — which declared East Jerusalem the capital of Palestine and urged the world to recognize the state of Palestine.
Turkey has been one of the most vocal critics of Trump’s December 6 decision on recognizing Jerusalem.
With the Islamic world itself mired in division, the Wednesday summit in Istanbul fell well short of agreeing on any concrete sanctions against Israel or the United States.
But its final statement declared “East Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Palestine” and invited “all countries to recognize the State of Palestine and East Jerusalem as its occupied capital.”
The statement declared Trump’s decision “null and void legally” and “a deliberate undermining of all peace efforts” that would give impetus to “extremism and terrorism.”
It also said Trump’s move was “an announcement of the US administration’s withdrawal from its role as sponsor of peace” in the Middle East, echoing Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Jerusalem’s status is perhaps the most sensitive issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Israel sees the entire city as its undivided capital, while the Palestinians want the eastern sector, which the international community regards as annexed by Israel, as the capital of their future state.

Trump’s announcement last week prompted an outpouring of anger in the Muslim and Arab world, where tens of thousands of people took to the streets to denounce the Jewish state and show solidarity with the Palestinians.
Hamas, the terrorist group that rules Gaza, has called for a new intifada against Israel and urged Palestinians to confront soldiers and settlers. Abbas’s Fatah movement called for days of rage in response to Trump’s declaration.

US Vice President Mike Pence will skip the Palestinian territories during his upcoming trip to the region, after PA officials said they wouldn’t meet him due to the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Israeli officials and Pence’s spokesperson confirmed.
Earlier in the day, it emerged that Pence had postponed his arrival in Israel by several days due to Congressional votes on tax reform.
The Israeli officials told The Times of Israel that Pence is set to arrive at Ben-Gurion Airport from Cairo on Wednesday evening, and leave Israel en route to the US on Friday afternoon — without having set foot on Palestinian Authority territory.
“The Vice President will then travel to Egypt & Israel where he’ll reaffirm the United States’ commitment to its allies in the Middle East and to working cooperatively to defeat radicalism,” she said in a statement. “He looks forward to having constructive conversations with both Prime Minister Netanyahu and President el-Sisi to reaffirm President Trump’s commitment to our partners in the region and to its future.”
The former Indiana governor was originally set to visit Bethlehem and meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, but Jibril Rajoub, a senior member of Abbas’s Fatah party, said last week he was “not welcome in Palestine,” and Abbas’s spokesman confirmed that the PA chief would not meet with him.
In response to the the snub, the White House accused the Palestinians of “walking away” from peace efforts.
“It’s unfortunate that the Palestinian Authority is walking away again from an opportunity to discuss the future of the region,” Jarrod Agen, Pence’s deputy chief of staff, said in a statement.
In a speech Wednesday, Abbas said there would be no future US role in the peace process. Abbas said the Palestinians had been engaged with Washington in a new push to reach a peace agreement with Israel, the “deal of our times.” But “instead we got the slap of our times,” Abbas said. “The United States has chosen to lose its qualification as a mediator … We will no longer accept that it has a role in the political process.” He suggested the UN should take over as mediator.

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