The United Nations Security Council is reviewing a draft resolution, circulated by Egypt, on reversing US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
The resolution affirms that any change to the status of Jerusalem has no legal effect and must be reversed.
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.
"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status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded," it said.
Egypt circulated the draft text on Saturday and diplomats said the 15-member council could vote on the proposed measure as early as Monday.
Breaking with the international consensus, 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.
After the decision, Arab foreign ministers agreed to seek a UN Security Council resolution. While the draft is unlikely to be adopted, it would further isolate Trump over the Jerusalem issue.
Diplomats said they expected the United States to use its veto power to block the Security Council measure while most, if not all, of the other council members were expected to back the draft resolution.
US Vice President Mike Pence will visit Jerusalem on Wednesday, wading into the crisis over 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.
Israel's UN Ambassador Danny Danon "strongly condemned" the draft, dismissing it as an attempt by the Palestinians "to reinvent history."
"No vote or debate will change the clear reality that Jerusalem has and always will be the capital of Israel," Danon said in a statement.
The US mission to the United Nations declined to comment on the draft. US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has praised Trump’s decision as “the just and right thing to do.”
The draft resolution calls on all countries to refrain from opening embassies in Jerusalem, reflecting concerns that other governments could follow the US lead.
It demands that all member-states not recognize any actions that are contrary to UN resolutions on the status of the city.
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.
A UN Security Council resolution adopted in December last year “underlines that it will not recognize any changes to the June 4, 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations.”
That resolution was approved with 14 votes in favor and an abstention by former US President Barack Obama’s administration.
The Palestinians had sought a toughly-worded draft resolution that would have directly called on the US administration to scrap its decision on Jerusalem.
But some US allies on the council such as Britain, France, Japan and Ukraine were reluctant to be too hard-hitting and insisted that the proposed measure should reaffirm the position enshrined in current resolutions, diplomats said.
Backed by Muslim countries, the Palestinians are expected to turn to the UN General Assembly to adopt a resolution rejecting the US decision, if, as expected, the measure is vetoed by the United States at the council.
Aside from the United States, Britain, China, France and Russia can veto any resolution presented at the council, which requires nine votes for adoption.