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Palestinians slam United States veto on Jerusalem resolution

Palestinians slam United States veto on Jerusalem resolution”

As the UN Security Council vote on "the situation in the Middle East, including Palestinian question" gets underway, the United Kingdom said it would vote against the decision of U.S. President Donald Trump to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The Egyptian-drafted text reiterated the United Nations position on Jerusalem, affirming "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status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded in compliance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council". It had the backing of 14 of the 15 countries on the Security Council, including United States allies Britain, France, Japan and Ukraine.

Explaining the negative vote, US Permanent Representative Nikki Haley said it had been done to protect her country's sovereignty and its right to choose where to have its embassy.

After the vote, Haley lashed out at the other members of the Council, calling the proceedings "an insult" that "won't be forgotten".

Palestinian President's spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said in an official statement that the USA veto of the draft resolution "is against the global consensus".

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"We commend President Trump for his efforts and energy in that direction, and we call on the USA administration to put forward concrete details, proposals as soon as possible to take that process forward".

But one by one, ambassadors of the 14 countries that supported the resolution said after the vote that the US violated council resolutions which make clear that no country can unilaterally decide that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.

"We declare our rejection of the United States as a political mediator because it has sided with Israel".

Prior to the Jerusalem decision, a fracture emerged last month when Trump threatened to close the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Washington office.

Israel seized control of the eastern part of the city in the 1967 Middle East war and sees all of Jerusalem as its undivided capital.

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Jerusalem, revered by Jews, Christians and Muslims alike, is home to Islam's third-holiest site and has been at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for decades.

This has infuriated the Palestinians and Arab countries, which have strongly protested against the US move. The Palestinians view the east as the capital of their future state.

Briefing the Security Council ahead of the vote, Nickolay Mladenov, the United Nations special coordinator for Middle East peace, said escalations in violence in the region could not be divorced from unilateral actions that undermined the peace process.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked Haley and Trump in a Facebook video, saying: "You lit a candle of truth". And she insisted that this position "is fully in line with the previous Security Council resolutions". One defeated the many.

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