RAMALLAH: Palestinian leaders on Thursday lauded a UN resolution in favor of Palestine having sovereignty over its natural resources, the Palestine News and Information Agency reported.
The UN General Assembly on Wednesday renewed its position on the issue of the permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the occupied territories, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan, over their natural resources.
A total of 159 member states backed the resolution, while Canada, Chad, Israel, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, and the US voted against, and 10 abstained.
A UN statement said: “By the text, the (General) Assembly demanded that Israel, the occupying power, cease the exploitation, damage, cause of loss or depletion and endangerment of the natural resources in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan.”
The resolution called on Israel to stop exploiting natural resources in the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem, and to halt any environmentally harmful activities of Israeli settlers, including the dumping of waste materials, the destruction of vital infrastructure, and the seizing of wells and agricultural land.
Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Riyad Al-Maliki said: “Voting in favor of the resolution affirms the Palestinian people’s right and their sovereignty over their natural resources, including land, water, and energy resources, including gas.”
Al-Maliki noted that the construction of a dividing wall and settlements in occupied territories, including in East Jerusalem, breached international law.
He urged the international community, “to compel Israel to implement the international resolutions and ensure the freedom of the Palestinian people to benefit from their natural resources.
“The Palestinian people have the right to demand compensation and redress for the exploitation, damage, loss, or endangerment of their natural resources in any way, and an end for all forms of exploitation, violation, and theft of their natural resources,” he added.
While thanking the countries that supported the resolution, Al-Maliki asked those who voted against or abstained to stop applying double standards and consider protecting the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to their land under international law.
The minister also called on them to take appropriate action against the Israeli occupation.