The United Nations General Assembly has voted to reject US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
The resolution was voted in favor by 128 member states, while 35 abstained and nine voted against it.
According to the resolution, the status of Jerusalem can only be resolved through negotiations between Israel and Palestine in line with relevant UN resolutions.
The resolution "affirms 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status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded in compliance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council, and in this regard calls upon all States to refrain from the establishment of diplomatic missions in the Holy City of Jerusalem, pursuant to Security Council resolution 478 (1980)."
The ancient city is claimed by both Israel and Palestine as their respective country’s capital. The international community, however, does not recognize Jerusalem as either country’s capital, and all countries with relations with Israel operate their embassies in Tel Aviv.
The resounding rejection of Mr. Trump’s controversial recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital came despite threats from US Ambassador Nikki Haley to cut financial aid to countries that backed the resolution.
“When we make generous contributions to the UN, we also have expectation that we will be respected,” Ms. Haley said. “What’s more, we are being asked to pay for the dubious privileges of being disrespected.”
She added, "If our investment fails, we have an obligation to spend our investment in other ways… The United States will remember this day.”
Mr. Trump issued a similar threat on Wednesday, stating, "They take hundreds of millions of dollars and even billions of dollars and then they vote against us," he said. "Well, we're watching those votes.
“Let them vote against us. We'll save a lot. We don't care."
The Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Riad Malki, urged UN members to not be swayed by “blackmail and intimidation.”
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas praised the UN for passing the resolution, declaring it a “victory for Palestine.”