UN blasts Israeli occupation

The UN General Assembly has passed two resolutions rejecting Israeli claims to Jerusalem and calling on Tel Aviv to return the Golan Heights to Syria.

    UN critical of nations that treat Jerusalem as capital of Israel

    The world body voted 155-8 to adopt a resolution that declared Israeli moves to impose laws, jurisdiction and administration on Jerusalem as illegal and with “no validity whatsoever”.

    Apart from the United States, the only countries to support Israel in voting against the Jerusalem resolution were Palau, Uganda, Nauru, Costa Rica, Micronesia and the Marshall Islands.

    The resolution also criticised governments that have set up diplomatic missions in Jerusalem and called for international actions to guarantee freedom of religion and access by all people and nationalities.

    Golan Heights

    A second resolution on “The Syrian Golan” was adopted with a 104-5 vote, with 61 abstentions, condemning Israel for its continued occupation of the hills separating the two countries.

    Israel has already refused to abide by similar previous UN Resolutions 93, 242 and 338 – all of which also ordered Tel Aviv to give the land back.

    The 191-nation assembly adopted four more resolutions calling for the peaceful settlement of the “Question of Palestine”, supporting programmes to publicise Palestinian issues.

    The resolution for the peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, calling on Tel Aviv to withdraw from the Occupied Territories and settle the dispute on the return of Palestinian refugees.

    New Security Council support

    Speaking on a visit to Damascus, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said any new United Nations resolution requiring an Israeli withdrawal from Golan had complete Brazilian support.

    Brazil took its non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council last month.

    Lula da Silva also criticised Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories after talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Asad, whose country finishes its two-year term on the Security Council in December.

    ''The continuation of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and the continued expansion of settlements are unacceptable,'' da Silva said, after arriving in Damascus earlier on Wednesday at the start of a regional tour.

    Reviving peace talks

    In an interview with the New York Times, al-Asad called earlier this week for US help to revive peace talks with Israel, which collapsed in 2000 largely over the Golan dispute.

    ''We have clearly expressed our wish for establishing peace in the Middle East...but this initiative was met with the rejection and negligence by Israel,'' al-Asad said at the dinner.

    However, US representatives at the UN told delegates the Syrian presence in Lebanon should end before there could be any negotiation about an Israeli withdrawl from Golan.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera


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