The resolution will see International Court of Justice give opinion on Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory.
The United Nations General Assembly has passed a resolution calling on the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to give an opinion on the legal consequences of Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian territories.
The General Assembly voted 87 to 26 with 53 abstentions on the resolution, with Western nations split but with virtually unanimous support in the Islamic world – including among Arab states that have normalised relations with Israel. Russia and China voted in favour of the resolution.
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Israel, the US and 24 other members – including the United Kingdom and Germany – voted against the resolution, while France was among the 53 nations that abstained.
The Hague-based ICJ, also known as the World Court, is the top UN court dealing with disputes between states. Its rulings are binding, though the ICJ has no power to enforce them.
Palestinian leaders on Saturday welcomed the vote, with senior official Hussein al-Sheikh saying it “reflects the victory of Palestinian diplomacy”.
“The time has come for Israel to be a state subject to law, and to be held accountable for its ongoing crimes against our people,” said Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
Palestine’s UN ambassador Riyad Mansour noted that the vote came one day after the swearing-in of a new far-right Israeli government, which he said promises an expansion of illegal Jewish settlements and will accelerate “colonial and racist policies” towards Palestinians. He also hailed nations that voted in favour of the resolution and were “undeterred by threats and pressure”.