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UN General Assembly Says Any Action to Change Status Quo in Jerusalem Is Illegal

UN General Assembly Says Any Action to Change Status Quo in Jerusalem Is Illegal

Friday, 3 December, 2021 - 09:00
Permanent Observer for the State of Palestine Riyad Mansour during a previous United Nation General Assembly meeting. (AP)

The United Nations General Assembly adopted a new resolution reiterating that any actions taken by Israel, the occupying power, to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the Holy City of Jerusalem are “illegal.”

The Assembly stressed that a comprehensive, just and lasting solution the question of the City of Jerusalem should take into account the legitimate concerns of both the Palestinian and Israeli sides.

The resolution urges halting incitement, especially in religiously sensitive sites, with the need to preserve the historical and legal status quo in the city.

Also, a majority of 148 member states voted for a resolution dubbed “Peaceful settlement of the Palestinian cause,” while nine states objected it and 14 states refused to vote.

The Assembly reiterated its call for the achievement of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East. The United States and Israel objected both resolutions.

The lack of progress on this issue, despite it having been on the United Nations’ Agenda since 1948, is “disheartening,” President of the General Assembly Abdullah Shahid said in his opening remarks.

“Year after year we speak of the appalling humanitarian crisis in Palestine, especially the Gaza Strip,” he noted, stressing that words are insufficient.

“Words cannot substitute for the lack of running water, electricity, proper sanitation and decent living conditions that millions of Palestinians endure.”

Today marks 74 years since the General Assembly adopted Resolution 181, he said.

“We recall that this resolution provided the legal foundation for the formation of the State of Israel – and a State of Palestine for the Palestinian People, yet, until now, we have not achieved the establishment of a state for the Palestinian people in line with international law.”

The Permanent Observer for the State of Palestine, Riyad Mansour, said it is time to end this deplorable situation, calling for collective, responsible action to protect human life and uphold the rule of law.

“It is time to stop appeasing Israel and rewarding its transgressions,” he said, stressing that the “absence of a credible political horizon — and failure to enforce accountability for Israel’s systematic human‑rights abuses and war crimes — has only prolonged the conflict.”

Israel’s ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan slammed the vote on both resolutions stressing that “valuable time, effort and resources are wasted, instead of focused on the world’s most pressing challenges.”

He said “Israel is the primary focus of the UN and endures endless attacks,” he said.

“The Iranian regime, which murders thousands of its citizens, is hardly mentioned, along with Syria, which uses chemical weapons on its citizens and has made millions of them homeless.”

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