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128 countries voted in favor of the resolution condemning Washington's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital; 9 voted against and 35 abstained

The UN General Assembly on Thursday opened a session during which a resolution was passed condemning Washington's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

On Wednesday, Donald Trump had strongly warned the countries that would adopt the text.

Organized at the initiative of the Palestinians, this vote was on a text affirming that a decision on the status of Jerusalem “has no legal force” and that the question of Jerusalem must be an integral part of a final peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians.

The General Assembly has 193 members.

The vote took place after various interventions.

United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, reiterated Thursday its threats towards the countries which would vote in favor of a resolution condemning the decision of Washington to designate Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, shortly before the ballot at the General Assembly of the UN.

“The United States will remember this day which saw it pilloried before the General Assembly for the simple fact of exercising our right as a sovereign country,” said Ms. Haley.

“We will remember this when we are again asked to make the largest (financial) contribution to the United Nations. And we will remember that when many countries come and ask us, as they so often do, to pay even more and use our influence to their advantage,” she said.

The decision to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, announced on December 6, “in no way prejudges final status questions, including the boundaries of Jerusalem,” said Nikki Haley.

“This decision does not rule out a two-state solution if the parties agree on it. This decision in no way undermines peace efforts. Rather, the president's decision reflects the will of the American people and our right as a nation to choose the location of our embassy.

Danny Danon, the Israeli ambassador to the UN, was the fourth speaker, after the Yemeni, Palestinian and Turkish representatives. Danon slammed countries that support the resolution, saying they are Palestinian-controlled and support terrorism.

“Those who support today's resolution are puppets. You are puppets manipulated by your Palestinian masters,” he said.

Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon addresses the General Assembly ahead of the vote on the status of Jerusalem, at the UN headquarters in New York on December 21, 2017. (EDUARDO MUNOZ ALVAREZ / AFP)

The Palestinians “know that this will not create jobs for their people. They know it will not improve the health system for the people of Ramallah. But it proves to the Palestinians that they can continue to reject peace,” he said.

“Instead, they incite hatred and carry out terrorist attacks against Israel. “If you vote in favor of the resolution,” he said, “you sanction them.”

Danon further indicated that while the resolution is likely to pass today, it will eventually be defeated and the nations of the world will all recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

“42 years ago, this body adopted another shameful resolution, which compared Zionism to racism. It took 16 years for this hateful resolution to be repealed. »



“There is no doubt that today's resolution will also end up in the dustbin of history. There is no doubt that the day will come when the international community will finally recognize Jerusalem as the eternal capital of the State of Israel,” he added.

“No General Assembly resolution will drive us out of Jerusalem,” Danny Danon also said at the Assembly's lectern.

The Yemeni ambassador described this session as an “emergency session”.

“We express our regret at the use of the veto by the American president in the Security Council to reject this motion. This is a flagrant violation of the rights of the Palestinian people and the rights of Muslims and Christians everywhere. It will stoke extremism,” he said.

The 14 partners of the United States on the Security Council unanimously approved a condemnation of Donald Trump's decision on Monday. A vote finally blocked by a veto from the United States perceived as "an insult that we will not forget", had already launched Nikki Haley.

In the General Assembly, however, no country has the right to veto resolutions, which are not binding.

The Yemeni ambassador said his country “calls on all countries, including the United States, not to change their policy regarding the illegal occupation of East Jerusalem. »

“We call on all countries that love peace and want it to stand up to the rule of law,” the Yemeni envoy continued.

“Vote for right, vote for stability, and vote for peace in Palestine and throughout the Arab world. »

Palestinian envoy to the UN, Riyad Mansour, at the UN Security Council, December 8, 2017. (UN)

Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian Authority's ambassador to the United Nations, said the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital was "an aggression against the Palestinian people".

"This decision will not affect the status of the city," he said. “But it affects the status of the United States as a peace broker. »

“We will not be threatened,” he added, referring to the budget cuts announced by Trump. He said the countries that criticized the decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital "are working in the name of humanity and peace."

“History notes the names, it remembers the names, the names of those who defend what is right and the names of those who lie. Today we want rights and peace,” he said, echoing Nikki Haley, who had warned that the United States would “withhold the names” of those who oppose recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

"The international community must recognize a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders," al-Maliki said.

“We call on you to reject blackmail and intimidation,” he said. “Those who want peace must vote in favor of this resolution. »

Turkish Ambassador to the United Nations Feridun Sinirliolu called on nations to support this resolution.

"Today's vote is important because it shows that the Palestinians are not alone," he said. “This vote affirms that the Palestinian cause is our cause. »

The Iranian ambassador to the United Nations declared during the General Assembly that "the Israeli occupation is at the heart of all crises and conflicts in the Middle East".

Calling on countries to vote in favor of the resolution, he called Trump's recognition of Jerusalem "politically wrong, illegal and unwarranted."

In this context, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Turkish Foreign Minister, said that a member state had threatened all other members to "face the consequences", probably referring to the United States, if they did not vote against the resolution.

The various nations have been threatened with a reduction in their development aid, he continued. “It's bullying and the organization won't accept it. It is unethical to think that votes and dignity are for sale… We will not be intimidated. You can be strong, but that doesn't do you justice. »

The results of the vote were revealed at the end of the day: 128 countries voted in favor of the resolution condemning Washington's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel; 9 voted against and 35 abstained.

Voting results on the Jerusalem status resolution at the UN General Assembly, December 21, 2012. (YouTube screenshot)

Source: ©  Vote in the UN General Assembly on the status of Jerusalem

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