UN council mulls call for US Jerusalem decision to be withdrawn

Worshippers sit around before Friday prayers on the compound known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City, as Palestinians call for a "Day of Rage" in response to President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital December 15, 2017 REUTERS/Ammar Awad

UNITED NATIONS – The United Nations Security Council is considering a draft resolution that would insist any decisions on the status of Jerusalem have no legal effect and must be rescinded after US President Donald Trump recognized the city as Israel’s capital.

The one-page Egyptian-drafted text, which was circulated to the 15-member council on Saturday and seen by Reuters, does not specifically mention the United States or Trump. Diplomats say it has broad support but will likely be vetoed by Washington.

The council could vote early next week, diplomats said. A resolution needs nine votes in favor and no vetoes by the United States, France, Britain, Russia or China to pass.

Trump abruptly reversed decades of US policy this month when he recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, generating outrage from Palestinians. Trump also plans to move the US embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.

After the decision, Arab foreign ministers agreed to seek a UN Security Council resolution. While the draft is unlikely to be adopted, it would further isolate Trump over the Jerusalem issue.

The US mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the draft. US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has praised Trump’s decision as “the 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status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded in compliance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council.”

It “calls upon all States to refrain from the establishment of diplomatic missions in the Holy City of Jerusalem, pursuant to resolution 478 (1980) of the Security Council.”

Israel considers the city its eternal and indivisible capital and wants all embassies based there. Palestinians want the capital of an independent Palestinian state to be in the city’s eastern sector, which Israel captured in a 1967 war and annexed in a move never recognized internationally.

The draft council resolution “demands that all states comply with Security Council resolutions regarding the Holy City of Jerusalem, and not to recognize any actions or measures contrary to those resolutions.”

A UN Security Council resolution adopted in December last year “underlines that it will not recognize any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations.”

That resolution was approved with 14 votes in favor and an abstention by former US President Barack Obama’s administration.