Palestinians, with the support of the international community, are determined to do whatever it takes to revise U.S. President Donald Trump's Jerusalem decision in the international arena. This includes turning to the U.N. General Assembly if Washington vetoes a draft U.N. Security Council resolution to reaffirm Jerusalem's status as unresolved.A Palestinian United Nations envoy raised this option in remarks published in Saudi daily Arab News yesterday, ahead of a Security Council vote on an Egyptian-drafted resolution about Jerusalem's status, which the United States is expected to veto.
The U.N. Security Council was expected to meet yesterday, over President Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, following Turkey's intense initiatives. The U.N. resolution to declare the U.S.'s decision legally null and void since it conflicts with the previous U.N. decisions regarding the issue will be on the agenda of the U.N. security meeting.
The resolution will be presented by Egypt, which is currently a member of the Security Council, while the idea of the resolution was initially Palestine's. However, it has been also highlighted that Turkey had an important part during the process thanks to its intense diplomatic row following Trump's decision.
According to Turkish Foreign Ministry sources, Turkey will bring the issue to the U.N. General Assembly once it faces a veto at the U.N. Security Council.
Arab News quoted Ambassador Riyad Mansour as saying that the Palestinians and Egyptians worked closely with Security Council members while drafting the resolution to ensure that it gets overwhelming support.
"The Europeans in particular asked us to avoid terms like ‘denounce' and ‘condemn,' and not to mention the U.S. by name," it quoted Mansour as saying. "We acceded to their request but kept the active clauses rejecting all changes to Jerusalem and the reaffirmation of previous decisions."
Referring the previous decisions of the U.N. regarding the issue, the resolution pointed out that the eventual status of Jerusalem will be determined as a result of peace negotiations between Palestine and Israel, instead of one-sided steps.
The resolution also highlighted that any one-sided steps aimed at changing Jerusalem's status or demographic structure are legally nonbinding, void and should be canceled due to the previous agreements on the issue.
The resolution further called for countries not to move their embassies to Jerusalem.
It states that if the resolution gets the votes, a binding U.N. General Assembly decision can prevent the steps to change Jerusalem's status. It also mentions that Turkey, which pioneered the Organization of Islamic Cooperation's (OIC) decision to declare east Jerusalem as Palestine's capital last week, will also play an important role in the U.N. process and the country will do what it takes to collect the majority of the votes.
Palestinians have the option of invoking a rarely used article of the U.N. Charter that calls for the parties in a dispute not to cast a veto, Arab News said. But, it said they are more likely to take the issue to the General Assembly under Resolution 377A, known as the "Uniting for Peace" resolution.
Resolution 377A was passed in 1950 and used to authorize the deployment of U.S. troops to fight in the Korean War.
Mansour said Palestinians resorted to the "Uniting for Peace" resolution in the 1990s after Israel began building a settlement on Jabal Abut Ghnaim, a hilltop on occupied West Bank land south of Jerusalem, but left that session in suspension. However, they could seek a resumption of the session, he said.
"If the resolution is vetoed, the Palestinian delegation can send a letter to the U.N. Secretary General and ask him to resume the emergency session," he said, according to Arab News.
Meanwhile, Mexico, Indonesia, Korea, Turkey and Australia (MIKTA) have resolved that Jerusalem is the key to a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine and should not be regarded as Israel's capital, Turkey's ambassador to Ethiopia and permanent representative to the African Union, Fatih Ulusoy, said.
The ambassador made the remarks during a seminar organized jointly by MIKTA and the Institute for Peace and Security Studies of Addis Ababa University in the Ethiopian capital yesterday.
Established in September 2013 on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly, MIKTA countries support the long-overdue peace process between Israel and Palestine with an aim of two states living in peace side by side with east Jerusalem as the capital of the sovereign state of Palestine.
On Dec. 6, President Trump announced his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and relocate the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city. The shift in longstanding U.S. policy on Jerusalem sparked angry demonstrations in the occupied Palestinian territories and many Muslim countries.
Rebuffing the move, an extraordinary OIC summit in Istanbul this week declared east Jerusalem as Palestine's capital. Jerusalem remains at the heart of the Israel-Palestine conflict, with Palestinians hoping that east Jerusalem — now occupied by Israel — might eventually serve as the capital of a Palestinian state.
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