UN Cmte Rejects De Facto Israeli Annexation in Disputed Territories
The UN General Assembly Second Committee (also known as the Economic and Financial Committee) passed a draft resolution Wednesday night calling on member states to refrain from treating east Jerusalem, the West Bank, or Golan Heights as part of the sovereign territory of Israel. The resolution, which reiterates the message of Security Council Resolution 2334, passed in 2016, upholds 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 passed by a vote of 153 to 6, with 16 abstentions. Israel expanded east Jerusalem to include nearby suburbs and applied its civil law to the area, a move widely considered to be de facto annexation, immediately after the 1967 war. In 1980, Israel reiterated its claim to the entire city with the passage of the Jerusalem Law. The Jewish state applied its civil jurisdiction to the Golan Heights in 1981. It has not annexed the West Bank but regularly criticizes actions by other countries that distinguish between the territory of Israel within the pre-1967 armistice lines and that of east Jerusalem, the Golan Heights, and Israeli West Bank settlements. The current Israeli government considered steps to annex the settlements, as well as the Jordan Valley, but shelved these plans when it signed the Abraham Accords normalizing relations with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. Countries voting against yesterday’s UN Second Committee resolution included Canada, Israel, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru and the United States. Abstentions came from Australia, Brazil, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Cote D’ivoire, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Kiribati, Madagascar, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Togo, Tonga and Tuvalu. Having passed the committee vote, the draft resolution will be sent to the General Assembly plenary for a final vote in December.