UN Security Council nations denounce Trump’s Jerusalem decision
The 14 nations, aside from the United States, on the United Nations (U.N.) Security Council condemned President Trump for recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital this week.
Trump’s action was “not in line with Security Council resolutions and was unhelpful in terms of prospects for peace in the region,” according to a joint statement by the ambassadors of Britain, France, Sweden, Germany and Italy issued after the Friday council meeting.
However, the council as a body is unlikely to officially condemn the United States for the action, The New York Times reported. The U.S. is a permanent member and has veto power over the council.
Trump on Wednesday said the U.S. would recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and announced plans to begin moving the U.S. Embassy there from Tel Aviv, a move that has been delayed by multiple presidents.
“This is a long-overdue step to advance the peace process and work toward a lasting agreement,” Trump said in his announcement. “This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality. It’s also the right thing to do. It’s something that has to be done.”
The international community does not recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital because parts of the city are claimed by Palestinians for their possible future state. United States Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said following Trump’s speech that the U.S. is not weighing in on whether Jerusalem is indivisible, as Israel claims.
Eight of the 15 countries on the UN Security Council called for the emergency meeting following Trump’s announcement, and multiple world leaders condemned Trump’s decision, saying it threatened peace talks and a possible two-state solution in the Middle East.
The council member nations include China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, Bolivia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Senegal, Sweden, Ukraine and Uruguay.
Bolivia’s ambassador, Sacha Sergio Llorenty Solíz, said the council needs to condemn the U.S. for Trump’s decision, “otherwise the Security Council will become an occupied territory,” according to the Times report. The term “occupied” is one that is often used in discussions of areas with contested ownership in Israel.
Trump’s move set off protests in the Middle East.
A reported 35 Palestinians were injured and two killed on Friday in clashes on the Gaza Strip’s border with Israel following the announcement.
In Bethlehem, another contested city in the region, Israeli troops responded to Palestinians throwing stones with tear gas, rubber bullets and stun grenades, according to The Associated Press.
Israel also reportedly killed two members of Hamas in airstrikes on Saturday. The airstrikes were retaliation for a rocket attack from Gaza.
Saturday is the third Palestinian “day of rage” responding to Trump’s decision and more protests are expected.
— Updated Dec. 12