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UN Vote Calls US Move On Jerusalem 'Null, Void'

UNITED NATIONS (AP) – The United Nations General Assembly voted Thursday on a resolution condemning President Trump's new policy recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The General Assembly voted 128-9, with 35 abstentions, to declare Mr. Trump's declaration of Jerusalem as the capital "null and void."

Mr. Trump said he'd be watching very closely at which members of the General Assembly vote for the resolution and which vote against it.

The resolution stated that any decision to change the status of Jerusalem is null and void, has no legal effect, and that it must be rescinded. It also called on member countries not to set up diplomatic missions in Jerusalem.

In the end, major U.S. aid recipients including Afghanistan, Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Tanzania and South Africa supported the resolution. The absent countries included Kenya, which was the fifth-largest recipient of U.S. aid last year, Georgia and Ukraine, all of which have close U.S. ties.

An aide to the Palestinian president thanked countries that voted in favor of the resolution"despite all the pressure exerted on them."

Nabil Abu Rdeneh, a senior adviser to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, appeared to be referring to a threat by President Donald Trump to cut off U.S. funding to countries that support the resolution.

Abu Rdeneh says in a statement Thursday to the official Wafa news agency that the vote reflects the support the Palestinians enjoy in the international community. He says the Palestinians will continue their efforts in international forums to help create a Palestinian state.

The U.N. General Assembly voted 128-9 with 35 abstentions in favor of the resolution, a smaller margin than the Palestinians hoped for, likely reflecting U.S. threats to cut funding for those who voted "yes."

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he completely rejected the "preposterous" U.N. resolution. In a video posted to Facebook, Netanyahu said Jerusalem "always was, always will be" Israel's capital. He also says he appreciates that "a growing number of countries refuse to participate in this theater of the absurd."

Netanyahu thanked President Donald Trump for his "stalwart defense of Israel."

Trump's declaration on Dec. 6 departed from decades of U.S. policy, and international consensus, that the fate of Jerusalem should be decided through negotiations.

Jerusalem lies at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Israel sees the city as its undivided capital. The Palestinians claim east Jerusalem, home to key Muslim, Jewish and Christian holy sites, as their capital.

© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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