A majority of the United Nations member states defied threats by the United States to declare Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel, terming the decision null and void.
At the Un General Assembly emergency meeting on Thursday approved the non-binding resolution on Thursday. One hundred and twenty-eight countries voted in favour, nine voted against and 35 countries abstained.
Most African countries voted in favour of the resolution. Togo was the only African countries that voted against the UN resolution. Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea and Benin, Lesotho, South Sudan and Uganda abstained. Kenya Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Sao Tome and Principe and Sierra Leone did not vote as their representatives were absent.
The countries voted for the resolution, which read in part “…any decisions and actions which purport to have altered, the character, status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded in compliance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council, and in this regard, calls upon all States to refrain from the establishment of diplomatic missions in the Holy City of Jerusalem, pursuant to resolution 478 (1980) of the Security Council,”
The votes came in even after a series of threats for President Trump and the US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, who announced that the US is ‘watching the votes’ and ‘taking names.’
Botswana was among the countries that categorically condemn the threat in a statement.
President Trump had earlier in the month reversed decades of the US policy by recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in a bid to move its embassy there. The move was condemned by many countries who believed it would jeopardise peace talks between Israel and Palestine.
Egypt introduced the resolution to block the decision by the US. However, the US exercised its veto powers to block Egypt’s resolution, which received support from 14 other member states.
Palestine and other Islam and Arab countries then moved the resolution before the UN General Assembly, which the US could not avoid censure.
Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas declared the results of the vote as a ‘victory for Palestine’.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the vote and extended his gratitude to Trump for his support of Israel.
What remains to be seen in whether the United States will act on its threats, considering a number of African countries benefit from US aid.