The vote seeks an ICJ opinion on legal consequences of Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories.
The United Nations General Assembly on Friday passed a resolution asking the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to evaluate the legality of Israel's “prolonged occupation, settlement and annexation
of Palestinian territory.”
In a video message, Prime Minister Benjamin Netayahu was quick to condemn the UN vote as a "despicable decision" that has no bearing on Israel --
a government that sprang into existence in 1948 in the wake of a UN General Assembly recommendation
to partition Palestine.
"The Jewish people are not occupiers in their own land nor occupiers in our eternal capital Jerusalem and no UN resolution can distort that historical truth," said Netanyahu.
Friday's UN resolution also asks the ICJ to give an advisory opinion on Israeli "measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem
, and from its adoption of related discriminatory legislation and measures."
Jewish settlers and Israeli authorities have been intensifying their efforts to push Palestinians out of occupied East Jerusalem,
with the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah
emerging as a particular flash point.
Via If Americans Knew
The UN vote comes after Netanyahu's formation of the most ultra-nationalist and religious government in in the country's history. Last week, Netanyahu's government declared that “the Jewish people have an exclusive and inalienable right to all parts of the Land of Israel,"
including the West Bank and Golan Heights.
With the new leadership bent on the even more expansion of West Bank settlements-- and thus threatening to obliterate the long-running fictional pursuit of a "two-state solution"
-- a leery Biden White House is dispatching national security advisor
Jake Sullivan to the Israel for a mid-January visit.
Friday's General Assembly's ICJ resolution passed by an 87-26 vote
, with 53 members abstaining. In voting against the measure, Israel and the United States were joined by countries that included Australia, Austria, Canada, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom. France abstained, while Russia, China, Ireland, Portugal and Saudi Arabia were among the yes votes.
The vote tally for Friday's UN resolution referring Israel's occupation to the International Court of Justice (screenshot of UN data via Times of Israel
The 15-member ICJ, which is in The Hague, Netherlands, is the UN's senior court for managing international disputes. Though not obliged to take act on the General Assembly resolution, the court is widely expected to.