UN Security Council draft resolution would render Donald Trump's Jerusalem recognition 'null and void'

The resolution has broad support but is likely to be vetoed by Washington

Emily Shugerman
New York
Saturday 16 December 2017 21:47
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Donald Trump officially recognises Jerusalem as Israel's capital

The UN Security Council is considering whether to render all decisions about the status of Jerusalem void, just days after US President Donald Trump acknowledged the city as Israel's capital.

The 15-member UN Security Council is reviewing a draft resolution that would rescind such decisions and demand that “all states comply with Security Council resolutions regarding the Holy City of Jerusalem,” according to a draft obtained by Reuters. The draft does not mention Mr Trump or the US specifically.

The one-page draft resolution affirms 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status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded in compliance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council”.

The draft resolution also instructs member states not to establish diplomatic missions in Jerusalem. The UN maintains that the status of Jerusalem is a “final status issue” that should be negotiated between the Israelis and Palestinians.

The document was drafted by Egypt, and diplomats say it has broad support – though it will likely be vetoed by Washington. A UN Security Council resolution needs nine votes in its favour and no vetoes from the US, France, Britain, Russia or China in order to pass.

Mr Trump acknowledged Jerusalem as Israel's capital earlier this month, fulfilling a campaign promise and satisfying his conservative voter base. The announcement also set in motion a plan to move the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to the Holy City.

Israel considers the Jerusalem its eternal and indivisible capital and wants all embassies based there. Palestinians want the capital of an independent Palestinian state to be in the city's eastern sector, which Israel captured in a 1967 war and annexed in a move never recognised internationally.

Mahmoud Abbas: US decision on Jerusalem has violated international law

Mr Trump’s decision broke with nearly 70 years of US policy, and angered many of the country’s international allies. France, Germany and Saudi Arabia and the UK all condemned the decision. The EU’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, firmly stated that the bloc would not be following the US President’s lead.

Protests broke out in the West Bank and Gaza shortly after the decision was announced. An estimated 3,000 people marched, burned Israeli flags and stamped on posters of Mr Trump. Protesters also demonstrated in Amman, Rabat, Beirut, Cairo and Pakistan.

More than 50 Muslim nations have jointly condemned the decision. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas declared that the US was “no longer qualified to sponsor the peace process," and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan deemed the US' role "over" in brokering peace in the region.

The Independent has reached out to the White House and the US mission to the UN for comment.

Additional reporting by Reuters

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