India has abstained in the UN General Assembly on a resolution that asked the International Court of Justice for its opinion on the legal consequences of Israel's "prolonged occupation" and annexation of the Palestinian territory.
The draft resolution 'Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem' was adopted by a recorded vote on Friday, with 87 votes in favour, 26 against, and 53 abstentions, including by India.
The resolution decided to request the UN's highest judicial body to "render an advisory opinion" on "what are the legal consequences arising from the ongoing violation by Israel of the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, from its prolonged occupation, settlement and annexation of the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including 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."
It also asked the Hague-based top UN court, "how do the policies and practices of Israel... affect the legal status of the occupation, and what are the legal consequences that arise for all States and the United Nations from this status?" The US and Israel voted against the resolution, while Brazil, Japan, Myanmar, and France were among those that abstained.
Before the vote, Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, said that the "outrageous resolution" calling for the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice is a "moral stain on the UN and every country that supports it. No international body can decide that the Jewish people are "occupiers" in their own homeland. Any decision from a judicial body which receives its mandate from the morally bankrupt and politicised UN is completely illegitimate." Mr Erdan added that the decision to hold a vote that deals with Israel on Shabbat is another example of the "moral decay" of the UN, which prevents Israel's position from being heard in a vote whose results are predetermined.
He added that at the UN General Assembly High-Level Week in September 2021, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas announced in his remarks that if Israel did not withdraw to the 1967 lines within a year, the Palestinians would turn to The Hague. "Today's vote is the realisation of Abbas's ultimatum," he said.
Following the vote, World Jewish Congress President Ronald S Lauder said in a statement that the vote at the United Nations exemplifies an ongoing pattern of bias against Israel, and "we applaud those 26 countries, including the United States, who voted against this shameful resolution that seeks to isolate and demonise the Jewish state."Mr Lauder said the "measure is a direct outgrowth of the biased Commission of Inquiry on Israel, whose commissioners have made antisemitic comments and who have been unabashed critics of Israel. Referral of this issue to the ICJ is yet another barrier to dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians."
Mr Lauder said peace in the region "can only be negotiated by the two sides directly involved." World Jewish Congress is an international organisation representing Jewish communities in more than 100 countries to governments, parliaments, and international organisations.
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