156 UN nations affirm West Bank settlements, east J'lem not part of Israel

The 2016 UN Security Council Resolution 2334 called on its member states to ensure that they do not participate in actions of de facto annexation.

The UN General Assembly’s Second Committee pushed back at the concept of de-facto Israeli annexation on Wednesday night, approving a draft resolution by 156-6 member states that called on nations to ensure that they do not treat the West Bank settlements and east Jerusalem as a part of sovereign Israel.

The six countries that opposed the resolution were Canada, Israel, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru and the United States.

Israel formally annexed east Jerusalem in 1980, a move that has never been recognized by the US or the international community. It has, however, never annexed the West Bank settlements.

Still, it has expected that the international community would treat the settlements as if sovereignty had been applied and if these areas are part of Israel.

The 2016 UN Security Council Resolution 2334 called on its member states to ensure that they do not participate in actions of de facto annexation.

The resolution “underscored, in this regard, the call by the Security Council, in its resolution 2334 (2016), upon all States to distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967.”

Wednesday’s resolution, approved annually, recognizes Palestinians’ sovereign rights to the natural resources of the West Bank and east Jerusalem, calling on Israel not to exploit these resources.

The resolution also condemned Israeli razing of illegal Palestinian structures.

The text stated that the UNGA affirmed the “inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and of the population of the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources, including land, water and energy resources.”

It demanded “that Israel, the occupying Power, cease the exploitation, damage, cause of loss or depletion and endangerment of the natural resources in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including east Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan.”

The resolution also called “upon Israel not to impede Palestinian development and export of discovered oil and natural gas reserves.”

It also affirmed the rights of the Palestinians to be compensated for Israeli use of their natural resources.

The resolution against the exploitation of Palestinian natural resources is one of almost 20 texts that the General Assembly approvals annually against Israel. No other country has that many resolutions leveled against it.
An Israeli representative said that many of the resolutions were repetitive and wasted valuable resources.

“We are now presented with a resolution in which not one word had been changed in years,” an Israeli representative said.

A US representative belied the biased nature of the text, saying that it delegitimized Israel.

“This one sided approach only undermines trust between the parties,’ the US representative said.

The Palestinian Authority representative thanked those countries that supported the resolution, saying that it was an affirmation of the rights of Palestinians to the territory over the pre-1967 lines. Urgent international action is needed to bring Israel into compliance with international law, the representative said.

Countries which abstained from the resolution included Australia, Brazil, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Cote D’ivoire, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Kiribati, Madagascar, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Togo, Tonga and Tuvalu.

The entire European Union block of 27 countries as wells the United Kingdom voted for the text.

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