JERUSALEM (Ma’an) – The UN General Assembly on Friday approved five draft resolutions relating to the question of Palestine, according to Palestine’s UN observer ambassador Riyad Mansour.
The first draft resolution, “Peaceful Settlement of the Question of Palestine,” was adopted by a recorded vote of 163 in favor to six against, with five abstentions. Countries who voted against the resolution were Canada, Israel, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau and the United States. Meanwhile Australia, Cameron, Honduras, Paoua New Guinea and Togo abstained.
The resolution, according to Mansour, urges the General Assembly again to reach a peaceful solution for the question of Palestine. The resolution also reiterates the UN General Assembly completely supports the peace process in the Middle East based on related UN resolutions, the Madrid Conference, the Arab Peace Initiative, and the Roadmap plan.
The resolution reaffirms that all Israeli settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory should stop including in East Jerusalem. It also states the necessity that Israel stop building its separation wall.
The second draft resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly was on Jerusalem, and it was adopted by a recorded vote of 162 in favor to seven against (Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, United States), with six abstentions (Cameroon, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Togo, Tonga, Vanuatu).
The resolution, according to Palestine’s observer, is reiteration by the General Assembly that any procedures carried out by Israel to impose its own rules on Jerusalem are illegal.
A third draft resolution was adopted under the title the Special Information Program on the Question of Palestine of the Department of Public Information of the Secretariat. It was adopted by a recorded vote of 160 in favor to seven against (Australia, Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau, United States), with seven abstentions (Cameroon, El Salvador, Honduras, Papua New Guinea, Togo, Tonga and Vanuatu).
The assembly adopted as well a text on the Committee on the exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People by a recorded vote of 106 in favor to seven against (Australia, Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau, United States), with 56 abstentions.
The assembly then adopted the draft resolution on the Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat by a recorded vote of 103 in favor to seven against (Australia, Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau, United States), with 61 abstentions.
Making a general statement, the observer of Palestine said that Nov. 29 had been a historic day for “both the people and the State of Palestine”, as well as for all those who were supportive of peace in the Middle East region.
“There is no way for me to describe the enthusiasm that the General Assembly generated yesterday” in listening to President Mahmoud Abbas’ statement and voting to change Palestine’s status, he said.
Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians celebrated that development with great joy, he said, thanking those who had voted “to make history” by co-sponsoring or voting for the resolution.
The text advancing Palestine’s status contributed to saving the two-state solution and to saving peace, he said. It also helped to open the door to the possibility of creating an atmosphere conductive to negotiations with Israel, and to putting an end to the long-standing occupation, as well as establishing the independent Palestinian state.
Palestine was hopeful that Israel could “give this option of peace a chance” and not continue imposing war on his people.
The reaction of the Israeli government, however, was an immediate provocation by expanding its illegal settlements. “They are trying to provoke us”, he stressed.
Palestine expected the international community — including the Security Council — to uphold international law and to bring Israel into compliance. “They are unilaterally creating illegal facts on the ground”, and taking measures that were in contravention of international law, he said.
But he said Palestine would continue to extend its hand in peace.
However, its resolve and determination “had limits” and were being tested. If the Israeli side was ready to negotiate in good faith based on the terms of reference of the peace process, “perhaps we can open doors for peace to move forward”. The choice was Israel’s, as President Abbas’ message had made “crystal clear” yesterday.
He hoped that, one day soon, Palestine would be able to become a full member of the United Nations. Indeed, the overwhelming vote yesterday had sent a “massive message to the Security Council” in that regard.
The Palestinian flag should be put in alphabetical order in front of the United Nations building along with other states, he stressed, “in order to open a new chapter” for Palestine and the international community.