U.N. vote on Jerusalem | Latest updates: 128 countries vote for UN resolution against US' Jerusalem move

A protester waves a Palestinian flag as they tried to march towards the Israeli Embassy during a protest in Manila on December 21, 2017 against U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.   | Photo Credit: AP

The U.N. General Assembly has voted 128-9 with 35 abstentions to declare President Donald Trump’s declaration of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital “null and void.”

Thursday’s vote, while a victory for the Palestinians, was significantly lower than its supporters had hoped for, with many forecasting at least 150 “yes” votes. It is noteworthy that 21 countries were absent.

Mr. Trump's December 6 decision to recognise Jerusalem broke with international consensus, triggering protests across the Muslim world and drawing strong condemnation. Key U.S. allies Britain, France, Italy, Japan and Ukraine were among the 14 countries in the 15-member UN Security Council that voted in favour of a resolution against the US earlier.

Here are the latest updates:

12.00: These countries voted against the resolution, thereby supporting the US move:

USA

Israel

Honduras

Guatemala

Togo

Marshall Islands

Nauru

Palau

Micronesia

11.30 P.M.: India votes for negotiated settlement of Jerusalem

Displaying its traditional policy on the Israel-Palestine dispute, India on Thursday voted for a negotiated settlement of the Jerusalem issue at the UN General Assembly (UNGA) with 127 other member countries. The dramatic vote on came a day after The Hindu reported fortnight long outreach by the Arab countries to India on this matter.

Speaking to the media during the weekly press interaction, the Spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) acknowledged that Arab diplomats have held consultation with India on the vote and the Minister of State for External Affairs M.J. Akbar informed them about India’s traditional policy on Jerusalem.

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10.00 p.m.: This vote will be remembered: Nikki Haley

US Ambassador Nikki Haley warned of reprisals ahead of a UN vote expected to reject the US decision on Jerusalem, warning "the United States will remember this day."

"This vote will make a difference on how Americans look at the UN and on how we look at countries who disrespect us in the UN," Haley told the UN General Assembly.

8.00 p.m.: India maintained a cautious silence, hours before the UN General Assembly

Speaking to the media, the Spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said that Arab diplomats have held consultation with India on the vote and the Minister of State for External Affairs M.J. Akbar informed them about India’s traditional policy on Jerusalem. 

“We should wait for the voting to happen,” said Raveesh Kumar, Spokesperson of the MEA highlighting that India has policy on Jerusalem which does not come under any third party influence.

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5.55 p.m.: Erdogan says U.S. can't buy Turkish support on Jerusalem

President Tayyip Erdogan has told the United States it could not buy Turkey's support in a vote at the United Nations on Jerusalem, and said he hoped the world would teach Washington a lesson.

“Mr. Trump, you cannot buy Turkey's democratic will with your dollars,’ Mr. Erdogan said after Mr. Trump threatened to cut aid to countries that support a draft U.N. resolution calling for the United States to withdraw its decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

“I hope and expect the United States won't get the result it expects from there (the United nations) and the world will give a very good lesson to the United States,” Mr. Erdogan said in a speech in Ankara.

4.40 p.m.: ANC wants South Africa embassy in Israel downgraded

South Africa’s ruling party says the country’s embassy in Israel should be downgraded to a liaison office to show support for the Palestinians.

The African National Congress said that delegates to a national party meeting endorsed the proposal to the government for “an immediate and unconditional downgrade” of the embassy in Tel Aviv.

South African media say the ANC endorsed a boycott of Israel at a party meeting in 2012 but the government did not implement it.

4.25 p.m.: House of lies, says Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has dubbed the United Nations a "house of lies" ahead of the UNGA vote. "The State of Israel rejects outright this vote, even before it passes," he said at a ceremony in southern Israel. "The attitude to Israel of many nations in the world, in all the continents, is changing outside of the U.N. walls, and will eventually filter into the U.N. as well — the house of lies," he said.

4.15 p.m.: UNGA resolution non-binding, but carries political weight

While resolutions by the General Assembly are non-binding, a strong vote in support of the resolution would carry political weight. Turkey and Yemen, representing the Arab group of countries and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), presented the measure reaffirming that Jerusalem is an "issue that must be resolved through negotiations". Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has sought to lead Islamic condemnation of Mr. Trump's Jerusalem plan, calling a summit of the leaders of Muslim nations last week in Istanbul, who urged the world to recognise East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital.

East Jerusalem was annexed by Israel after the 1967 war, in a move never recognized by the international community. Israel sees all of Jerusalem as its undivided capital. Several U.N. resolutions call on Israel to withdraw from territory seized during the 1967 war and the draft resolution contains the same language as past motions adopted by the Assembly.

(With inputs from AFP, AP)

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