Israel must withdraw from E.J'lem, Golan

Decisive majority in UN General Assembly approves six pro-Palestinian
resolutions, including calls for Israel to dismantle settlements,
withdraw from territory captured in '67, including E. J'lem, Golan
Heights despite heavy opposition by Israel, US
Associated PressThe General Assembly approved six pro-Palestinian
resolutions over United States and Israeli objections, culminating the
annual United Nations debate aimed at showing the world body's
solidarity with Palestinian demands for an independent homeland.  
At the end of three days of speeches, the 192-member world body on
Friday reaffirmed the UN's responsibility regarding the Palestinian
question and stressed the Palestinian peoples' right to
self-determination and an independent state. More from the UN   
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In the key resolution on the “Peaceful Settlement of the Question of
Palestine,” the General Assembly welcomed the Nov. 26 cease-fire in
Gaza and urged both sides to maintain the truce which it said could
pave the way for negotiations towards a solution to the conflict.  
The Palestinian UN Observer, Riyad Mansour, said the vote – 157 to 7
with 10 abstentions – showed massive support in the international
community for moving forward on the peace process.  
“The only way to reverse all the ills that we are witnessing in the
Middle East is to accept the fact that there can only be a negotiated
solution to the question of Palestine and the Arab-Israeli conflict,”
Mansour told the assembly on Thursday. “It is unfortunate to say, at
the least, that each time the Arabs have extended their hand, it was
violently rejected by Israel.”  
The resolutions are not legally binding – as Security Council
resolutions are – but they are a reflection of world opinion. Each of
the six resolution received more than 100 “yes” votes. The United
States, Israel, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and Palau voted
against all six resolutions.  
The only other resolution to top 150 “yes” votes declared any attempt
to impose Israel's laws, jurisdiction and administration on Jerusalem
illegal, and therefore null and void. It was approved by a vote of
157-6 with 10 abstentions.  
The other resolutions demanded that Israel withdraw from the Golan
Heights and supported the UN Committee on the Exercise of the
Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, the UN Secretariat's
Division for Palestinian Rights, and the UN's special information
program on the question of Palestine.  
US opposition
US Diplomat Ned Siegel opposed the Golan Heights resolution, saying it
prejudged the outcome of negotiations between Israel and Syria.  
He accused Syria of using the General Assembly “to direct accusations
at Israel even as it flaunts a number of Security Council resolutions
… With its refusal to treat Lebanon as a genuinely sovereign
country.”   
“We would like to reiterate our alarm at indications that Syria is
working with Hizbullah and other Lebanese allies to destabilize the
democratically elected Government of Lebanon,” Siegel said.  
Syria's UN Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari accused the US Of using its veto
in the Security Council to protect its Israeli friends and prevent them
from complying with UN Resolutions.  
After the vote in favor of the Golan Heights resoution – 107-6 with 60
abstentions – Ja'afari thanked members for their support for Syria's
right to retrieve its land occupied by Israel in 1967. He appealed for
a just peace and for the liberation of the Golan Heights.  
It should be noted that these resolutions are not binding since they
were decided in the General Assembly.
'Resolutions don't promote peace'
The Foreign Ministry said in response to the resolutions made Friday
night: “Unfortunately, for a number of decades, the UN General Assembly
tends to automatically pass a series of one-sided, unbalanced,
anti-Israel resolutions from year to year.”  
“These resolutions don't promote peace and don't contribute anything to
the Israelis or the Palestinians. The resolutions damage the status of
the UN and its capacity to be involved in the Arab-Israeli conflict,”
the Foreign Ministry said in response.  
Vice Premier Shimon Peres, who is visiting New York, met Friday night
with incoming UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and discussed the
situation in the Middle East with him.  
After the meeting, Peres said, “The Muslims and the Palestinians in the
UN are presenting a one-sided and distorted picture. If the situation
continues, UN forces in the region will weaken.” Peres gave the example
of the commission of inquiry into the Israeli shelling of Beit Hanoun,
saying that whoever wants to investigate needs to start with the
Palestinian aggression, and not the Israeli response to it.
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