Palestinians call for emergency UN meeting on Jerusalem

Members of the UN Security Council raise their hands as they vote on a draft resolution that would reject US President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel during a meeting on the situation in the Middle East including Palestine on December 18, 2017, at UN Headquarters in New York. (AFP)
Updated 19 December 2017
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Palestinians call for emergency UN meeting on Jerusalem

AMMAN/NEW YORK: Palestinian leaders will call for an emergency meeting of the UN General Assembly after the US on Monday vetoed a Security Council resolution on the status of Jerusalem.

The veto was “unacceptable and threatens the stability of the international community because it disrespects it,” said Palestinian presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina.

Palestinians would continue to insist on the rule of international law no matter how many times the US cast its veto, Anees Sweidan, head of the Palestinian international affairs department, told Arab News.

“We will be back in the UN Security Council and we will also go to the General Assembly, where the US has no veto power, in order to insist that no solution can be imposed on Palestinians in regard to our capital, Jerusalem.”

Ziad Khalil AbuZayyad, spokesman for international affairs in the Fatah movement, told Arab News: “The American vision for a peace process doesn’t give Palestinians their rights because it doesn’t include justice or equality. We condemn such actions coming from a world power that considers itself a democracy.”

The resolution followed this month’s decision by the US to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to move its embassy there from Tel Aviv.

It stated 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status or demographic composition of the holy city of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded.”

It called on “all states to refrain from the establishment of diplomatic missions in the holy city of Jerusalem,” under the terms of a 1980 Security Council resolution. Without naming any country, it expressed “deep regret at recent decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem.”

The resolution was sponsored by Egypt, and the other 14 members of the Security Council voted for it, including US allies Britain and France. The depth of support illustrated America’s isolation, Abu Rudein said. “The international community must work now to protect the Palestinian people.”

The US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, called the resolution “an insult” that would not be forgotten, and said the UN had forced the US to cast a veto simply because of its right to decide where to put its embassy.

“The fact that this veto is being done in defense of American sovereignty and in defense of America’s role in the Middle East peace process is not a source of embarrassment for us; it should be an embarrassment to the remainder of the Security Council,” she said.

After the vote, Palestinian leaders held a closed meeting with President Mahmoud Abbas. They are expected to defy the US and apply for the state of Palestine to join about 22 international agencies.


Iran must provide care to detainees on hunger strike: UN experts

Updated 27 min 10 sec ago
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Iran must provide care to detainees on hunger strike: UN experts

  • British-Iranian detainee Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe launched a hunger strike over a lack of care
  • “The authorities must urgently address the violations that are the basis of their hunger strike protest,” UN experts said

GENEVA: UN human rights experts urged Iran on Wednesday to grant urgently needed medical attention to two detainees, including British-Iranian national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who launched a hunger strike over a lack of care.
The six UN experts also appealed on behalf of Iranian human rights activist Narges Mohammadi, who was arrested in 2015 and jailed for 10 years for “forming and managing an illegal group” and who has joined Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s hunger strike.
“We urge the Government to immediately and unconditionally provide Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Narges Mohammadi with access to the appropriate treatment and care they have repeatedly requested in light of their serious health concerns,” the experts said in a statement.
Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s husband, Richard Ratcliffe, has said his wife has detected a lump in her breast and is complaining of numbness in her arms and legs.
Mohammadi has been denied proper health care for more than a year, despite suffering from a pulmonary embolism, blood clots and seizures, the experts said said, citing people familiar with her situation.
“The authorities must urgently address the violations that are the basis of their hunger strike protest,” the group said.
The statement was signed by Dainius Puras, special rapporteur on the right to health, Diego Garcia-Sayan, the rapporteur for independent judges and lawyers as well as Nils Melzer, the UN expert on torture.
It was also signed by a specialist on arbitrary detentions, Seong-Phil Hong, the rapporteur on human rights defenders, Michel Forst, and Javaid Rehman, the expert on human rights in Iran.
UN rights experts are independent, unpaid and do not speak for the office of the High Commission for Human Rights.