As it happenedended1513906081

UN Jerusalem vote - as it happened: UN General Assembly rejects Trump's Israel declaration

Motion to condemn US President's decision passed

The United Nations General Assembly votes 128-9 to declare the United States' Jerusalem capital recognition 'null and void'

The UN General Assembly voted 128-9 to declare US President Donald Trump's declaration of Jerusalem as Israel's capital "null and void".

The vote, while a victory for the Palestinians, was significantly lower than its supporters had hoped for, with many forecasting at least 150 "yes" votes. There were a total of 35, while 21 nations did not turn up for the vote.

Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas welcomed the result, his spokesman saying: "The vote is a victory for Palestine.

"We will continue our efforts in the United Nations and at all international forums to put an end to this occupation and to establish our Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital."

For all the day's developments, as they happened, see the live blog below - if it does not appear click here

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he completely rejects the “preposterous” UN resolution.

Mr Netanyahu added in a video posted to Facebook that Jerusalem “always was, always will be” Israel's capital. He also said he appreciates that “a growing number of countries refuse to participate in this theatre of the absurd.”

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had said the UN should teach Mr Trump a “very good lesson”, after the US leader threatened to cut aid to countries that support the resolution being put forward to the UN General Assembly

Mr Erdogan said UN member states should not let their decision be dictated by money.

“Mr. Trump, you cannot buy Turkey's democratic will with your dollars,” he said.

“The dollars will come back, but your will won't once it's sold. That is why your stance is important.”

Mr Trump's announcement two weeks ago that he was recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital broke with decades of US policy and international consensus that the city's status must be left to Israeli-Palestinian talks.

Last week Mr Erdogan hosted a special meeting of the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation, which condemned Mr Trump's decision and called on the world to respond by recognising East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state.

Jerusalem, revered by Jews, Christians and Muslims alike, has been at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for decades. Israel captured Arab East Jerusalem in 1967 and later annexed it in an action not recognised internationally.

Mr Trump's Jerusalem move led to harsh criticisms from Muslim countries and Israel's closest European allies, who have also rejected the move.

A draft resolution calling for withdrawal of Mr Trump's decision was vetoed at the United Nations Security Council by the United States on Monday. Following that vote, opponents of the US decision called for the vote in the General Assembly.

“I hope and expect the United States won't get the result it expects from there and the world will give a very good lesson to the United States,” Mr Erdogan said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described the United Nations as a “house of lies” ahead of the vote

“The State of Israel totally rejects this vote, even before (the resolution's) approval,” Mr Netanyahu said in a speech at a hospital dedication in the port city of Ashdod.

Reuters contributed to this report

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Welcome to our coverage of the UN General Assembly session over Donald Trump's decision to declare that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.

Kristin Hugo21 December 2017 14:06
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President Donald Trump has threatened to cut aid to countries that support a draft UN resolution calling for the United States to withdraw its Jerusalem decision.

But, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said UN member states should not let their decision over the vote be dictated by money.

"Mr. Trump, you cannot buy Turkey's democratic will with your dollars," he said. "The dollars will come back, but your will won't once it's sold.

"That is why your stance is important."

He added: "I hope and expect the United States won't get the result it expects from there and the world will give a very good lesson to the United States".

Kristin Hugo21 December 2017 14:38
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South Africa's ruling ANC decided to downgrade its embassy in Tel Aviv to a liaison office over the US Jerusalem decision.

The decision was taken at the end of a five-day African National Congress conference, in which Cyril Ramaphosa was elected as its new leader and South Africa's likely next president after 2019 elections, following Jacob Zuma.

Kristin Hugo21 December 2017 14:43
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The General Assembly meeting is set to begin at 10am ET/3pm GMT. So about 15 minutes.

It is not clear when the vote will take place.

Kristin Hugo21 December 2017 14:45
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As you might expect, Israel were fully behind Mr Trump's decision over Jerusalem and have hit out at the UN over the scheduled vote.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described the United Nations as a “house of lies” during a speech at a hospital dedication in the port city of Ashdod.

“The State of Israel totally rejects this vote, even before (the resolution's) approval,” Mr Netanyahu said.

Kristin Hugo21 December 2017 14:48
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The UN vote comes after the body's human rights chief said he would step down, suggesting that his re-election would involve ”lessening the independence and integrity of my voice” after his outspoken criticism of world powers – including the US.

Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said he would not seek a second four-year term as the High Commissioner for Human Rights, telling staff in an email: “To do so, in the current geopolitical context, might involve bending a knee in supplication”.

Kristin Hugo21 December 2017 14:53
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Looks like there might be a number of abstentions in the UN vote, which could be seen as the option that looks to upset the lest number of other nations...

Kristin Hugo21 December 2017 15:10
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Yemen “expresses...Condemnation of the US to run counter to the 14 votes on the Security Council” 

Authorities have called Mr Trump's decision a “blatant violation of the rights of...all Muslims and Christians around the world”

Kristin Hugo21 December 2017 15:39
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As part of the UN General Assembly meeting - Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian representative to the United Nations, said that there was “no animosity” towards the US but its decision “affects status of US as a mediator of peace” in the region. 

The US “failed the test of Jerusalem.” 

“Who could imagine that there would be any credibility to a peace plan that excludes Jerusalem?,” Mr Mansour asked.

Kristin Hugo21 December 2017 15:41
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“Colonialism and peace do not meet,” said Riyad Maliki, Foreign Affairs Minister of the Palestinian National Authority. “The mediator has taken the side of” the coloniser, he said of  the US-Israeli relationship.

Kristin Hugo21 December 2017 15:43

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