External Affairs

UN Security Council Considers Whether to Call for Withdrawal of US Decision on Jerusalem

A protester carries a Palestinian flag at the end of a demonstration against US President Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital opposite to the American embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel December 12, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Nir Elias

A protester carries a Palestinian flag at the end of a demonstration against US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital opposite to the American embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel. December 12, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Nir Elias

The UN Security Council is considering a draft resolution that would insist any decisions on the status of Jerusalem have no legal effect and must be rescinded after US President Donald Trump recognised the city as Israel’s capital.

The one-page Egyptian-drafted text, which was circulated to the 15-member council on Saturday and seen by Reuters, does not specifically mention the United States or Trump. Diplomats say it has broad support but will likely be vetoed by Washington.

The council could vote early next week, diplomats said. A resolution needs nine votes in favor and no vetoes by the US, France, Britain, Russia or China to pass.

Trump abruptly reversed decades of US policy this month when he recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, generating outrage from Palestinians. Trump also plans to move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.

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.

The US mission to the UN declined to comment on the draft. US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley has praised Trump’s decision as “the just and right thing to do.”

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status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded in compliance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council.”

It calls upon all countries to refrain establishing diplomatic missions in Jerusalem.

Israel considers the city its eternal and indivisible capital and wants all embassies based there.

“No vote or debate will change the clear reality that Jerusalem” is the capital of Israel, Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, said in a statement.

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 recognized internationally.

The draft council resolution “demands that all states comply with Security Council resolutions regarding the Holy City of Jerusalem, and not to recognize any actions or measures contrary to those resolutions.”

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.

(Reuters)