Two Palestinians were killed and 45 injured amid newly triggered riots following the UN General Assembly’s vote on Jerusalem. With an overwhelming majority, the UN Gbody voted on Thursday in favour of a resolution that denounces any unilateral decision regarding the status of Jerusalem.
The decision, though not mentioning the US by name, is a major rebuke of Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, despite the American president’s threats on Wednesday to cut off aid to countries voting against his decision.
Key US allies were among the 128 countries that voted for the resolution, including Germany, France, and the UK, as well as 22 out of 28 EU countries. China and Russia also voted for the measure, meaning all permanent members at the Security Council aside from the US voted in its favour.
Only nine countries—including the US and Israel—voted against the resolution. The others were Guatemala, Honduras, Palau, Nauru, the Marshall Islands, Togo, and Micronesia.
Thirty-five member states abstained, mainly US allies such as Canada, Australia, Mexico, and Colombia. Another 21 delegations were absent from the vote.
With the surprising vote, Daniel Barenboim, a UN messenger of peace who holds both Palestinian and Israeli citizenship, wrote in the Guardian that the world must now recognise the Palestinian state following the vote.
The vote was described by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, right after the result was announced, as “a victory for Palestine” according to the Guardian. Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly rejected the vote.
On a visit to Paris on Friday, Abbas reportedly announced his rejection of any US plans for the peace process with Israel. He urged France and Europe to mediate the peace talks.
Following the announcement of the result, Nikki Haleu, US ambassador to the UN, threatened in her speech that the insult levelled at the US will not be forgotten. She went on to reference contributions which the US provides to countries who “disrespected” it at the UN as they voted for the resolution. She asserted that the US will nevertheless move its embassy to Jerusalem, saying that “no vote in the UN will make any difference.” In addition, Haley reportedly invited the 64 countries who did not vote against the US decision for a “friendship” reception at the White House on 3 January.
Despite Trump’s repeated threats to cut aid on Friday, as he tweeted: “After having foolishly spent $7 trillion in the Middle East, it is time to start rebuilding our country!”, Taher Al-Masri, a former Jordanian prime minister does not believe this will come to fruition. He stressed Jordan’s strong role as a US ally in the region and said, “Trump is not giving us aid as charity. Jordan performs a regional role in stability that we have not gone back on delivering,” according to Reuters.