UN Security Council draft resolution would render Trump's Jerusalem recognition 'null and void'

UN Security Council draft resolution would render Trump's Jerusalem recognition 'null and void'
The United Nations Security Council is looking at a draft resolution circulated by Egypt which would rescind Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel
2 min read
17 December, 2017
President Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital broke with international consensus [AFP]

Any decisions on the status of Jerusalem will have no legal effect if a resolution proposed by Egypt is passed by the UN Security Council.

Although the one-page draft makes no specific mention to Washington, it is seen as a response to President Donald Trump's announcement earlier this month that the US would recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

The draft is expected to find broad support among the 15-member council, but will almost certainly be vetoed by Washington.

The US found itself isolated at the Security Council earlier in the month when all 14 other members - including allies the UK, France and Italy - condemned President Trump's decision, which broke with international consensus.

While the draft is unlikely to be adopted, and almost certainly faces a US veto, getting all other 14 member-states to agree will further isolate Trump over the Jerusalem issue.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley praised Trump's decision saying it was "just and right thing to do".

The draft UN resolution "affirms that 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status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded in compliance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council".

A UN Security Council resolution passed last year "underlines that it will not recognise any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations".

The status of Jerusalem - a city holy to Christians, Jews and Muslims - is perhaps the most sensitive issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Israel sees the entire city as its undivided capital, while the Palestinians want the eastern sector, which Israel seized in the 1967 war and later illegally annexed, as the capital of their future state.

Palestinian diplomats had suggested earlier their desire for "actively wanting a US veto and... the other 14 to stay together".

"This is not about pushing the US out of the picture. This is about them trying to shape the eventual content of a US-led proposal to be more in line" with the Palestinian stance, said a council diplomat.