UN passes 'annual' slate of anti-Israel resolutions

Israel: Proclamations are one-sided and contribute nothing to peace.

December 3, 2006 02:12
2 minute read.


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As it has done in the first half of December nearly every year for the last 38, the UN General Assembly on Friday passed a slew of resolutions that Jerusalem characterized as "anti-Israeli," and which culminated the annual UN debate on the "Palestine Question." At the end of three days of speeches, the 192-member world body approved six pro-Palestinian resolutions that Israeli officials said were "one-sided and unbalanced." "These decision do not further the peace process and do not contribute anything to the Palestinians or Israelis," a Foreign Ministry spokesman said Saturday night, adding that the UN passes these resolutions automatically every year. "All they do is harm the UN's standing, and its ability to be involved in the Israeli-Arab conflict." In the resolution entitled 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. 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. "The only way to reverse all the ills that we are witnessing in the Middle East is to accept the fact that there can only be a negotiated solution to the question of Palestine and the Arab-Israeli conflict," Mansour told the assembly on Thursday. "It is unfortunate to say, at the least, that each time the Arabs have extended their hand, it was violently rejected by Israel." Unlike Security Council resolutions, these General Assembly resolutions are not binding. Each of the six resolutions received more than 100 "yes" votes. The United States, Israel, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and Palau voted against all six resolutions. The only other resolution to top 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 abstentions. The other resolutions demanded that Israel withdraw from the Golan Heights and supported the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, the UN Secretariat's Division for Palestinian Rights, and the UN's special information program on the question of Palestine. US 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 Hizbullah and other Lebanese allies to destabilize the democratically elected government of Lebanon," Siegel said. Syria's UN Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari accused the US of using its veto in the Security Council to protect Israel and prevent it from complying with UN resolutions. Meanwhile, a United Nations human rights inquiry said on Friday that Israel should be made to pay compensation for damage caused by the month-long Lebanon war, especially losses incurred by civilians. It suggested setting up an international compensation program similar to the one which paid out billions of dollars to cover losses due to Iraq's 1990-91 invasion of Kuwait. But the three-member commission of inquiry left any decision to the UN Human Rights Council.

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