The United Nations (UN) voted Friday to obtain a legal opinion from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian West Bank.
Nicaragua filed the motion on behalf of the Palestinian Authority (PA), which does not have full UN membership.
The motion was passed with 98 votes in favour, 17 against and 52 abstentions. The US, Israel, Australia, Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Italy and Germany were among the countries that opposed the motion. The UK abstained.
In the motion, the PA asked the ICJ to consider that the “Israeli occupation” of the Palestinian West Bank constitutes an annexation due to its ongoing nature.
“The Palestinian proposal is part of an anti-Israel campaign tainted with anti-Semitism that aims to undermine Israel’s legitimacy and its right to self-defense,” Israeli UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan said when the motion was proposed.
He added: “[PA President Mahmoud] Abbas is again acting destructively, in a way that will only harm the Palestinians themselves. We will make it clear to every country that supporting this move is a prize for terrorist organizations and will only perpetuate the conflict.”
Meanwhile, US Representative Richard Mills expressed “serious concern” about the resolution, saying it would increase mistrust surrounding the conflict: “There are no shortcuts to a two-state solution.” Mills claimed the reference to the Al-Aqsa mosque in the motion was “intended to denigrate Israel.”
The Palestinian delegation to the UN claimed: “Our people deserve freedom. Our people have a right to freedom.”
OPINION: US complicity with Israel will bolster future annexation plans