New UN resolutions back Palestinian right to a state
By The Associated Press
UNITED NATIONS - The General Assembly approved Friday night six
pro-Palestinian resolutions over U.S. and Israeli objections, culminating in
the world body's declaration of backing the Palestinians' right to an
In the key resolution on the "Peaceful Settlement of the Question of
Palestine," the General Assembly welcomed the November 26 cease-fire in Gaza
and urged both sides to maintain the truce which it said could pave the way
for negotiations towards a solution to the conflict.
At the end of three days of speeches, the 192-member world body on Friday
reaffirmed the UN's responsibility regarding the Palestinian question and
stressed the Palestinian peoples' right to self-determination and an
The Palestinian UN observer, Riyad Mansour, said the vote - 157 to 7 with 10
abstentions - showed massive support in the international community for moving
forward on the peace process.
In a separate resolution topping 150 "yes" votes declared any attempt to
impose Israel's laws, jurisdiction and administration on Jerusalem illegal,
and therefore null and void. It was approved by a vote of 157-6 with 10
Two other resolutions called on Israel to withdraw from the Palestinian
territories in the West Bank and from the Golan Heights.
The resolutions are not legally binding - as Security Council resolutions
are - but they are a reflection of world opinion. Each of the six resolution
received more than 100 "yes" votes. The United States, Israel, the Marshall
Islands, Micronesia, and Palau voted against all six resolutions.
U.S. diplomat Ned Siegel opposed the Golan Heights resolution, saying it
prejudged the outcome of negotiations between Israel and Syria.
He accused Syria of using the General Assembly "to direct accusations at
Israel even as it flaunts a number of Security Council resolutions ... with
its refusal to treat Lebanon as a genuinely sovereign country."
"We would like to reiterate our alarm at indications that Syria is working
with Hezbollah and other Lebanese allies to destabilize the democratically
elected Government of Lebanon," Siegel said.
Syria's UN Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari accused the U.S. of using its veto in
the Security Council to protect its Israeli friends and prevent them from
complying with UN resolutions.
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