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Hamas blasts US for vetoing UN resolution on Jerusalem al-Quds

Pro-Palestine protesters chant slogans during a demonstration against a US decision to recognize Jerusalem al-Quds as the “capital” of Israel in Diyarbakir, Turkey, December 17, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

The Palestinian resistance movement, Hamas, has blasted Washington for vetoing a UN Security Council resolution aimed at voiding US President Donald Trump’s move on Jerusalem al-Quds, saying the Israeli-occupied city is the “eternal capital” of the state of Palestine.

Earlier this month, Trump said the US was recognizing Jerusalem al-Quds as the “capital” of Israel, and said he had tasked the State Department with making preparations for the relocation of the embassy from Tel Aviv to the city.

The move has sparked international outrage and pro-Palestinian protests.

The White House used its veto power for the first time at the UN Security council on Monday to torpedo an Egypt-drafted resolution critical of Washington’s unilateral recognition, which had the backing of the other 14 members of the council, several of them the US and Israel’s key allies.

In response, Hamas issued a statement, saying Jerusalem al-Quds is the “eternal capital” of the state of Palestine, and that such American or Israeli decisions cannot change this fixed reality.

The statement said the resistance movement would use all means at its disposal to prevent Trump’s decision from taking effect.

The movement further called on the international community to take action against any measure aimed at changing the status quo of Jerusalem al-Quds.

Hamas warned that the Tel Aviv regime would pay the price for taking any step against Jerusalem al-Quds and Muslims’ sanctities.

Along with Hamas, officials of the Ramallah-based Fatah movement also censured the US for blocking the resolution.

The Palestinian president’s spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said in an official statement that the US veto “violates the legitimate international resolutions and the resolutions of the Security Council. It’s a full bias to the occupation and to the aggression.”

He said the veto “leads to more isolation of the United States and will provoke the international community,” adding “we will carry on with our moves in the UN and all other international agencies to defend our people’s rights.”

‘US veto emboldens Israel’

Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations Riyad Mansour also said the US “missed an opportunity to rectify its illegal decision from December 6.”

Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations Riyad Mansour speaks during a Security Council meeting concerning the situation in the Middle East involving Israel and Palestine, at United Nations headquarters, December 18, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by AFP)

He said that Washington “remains on the wrong side of history” and that the Palestinians “reiterate that [Trump’s] decision has no legal effect on the status of Jerusalem.”

“The US decision encourages Israel to persist in its crimes against the Palestinian people and to continue its occupation of our territory. No rhetoric will hide this complacency in prolonging the occupation,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Bassam al-Agha, said President Mahmoud Abbas is scheduled to travel to Saudi Arabia Tuesday to discuss the US decision on Jerusalem al-Quds with Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The trip comes as Riyadh has showed a weak response to Trump’s move.

The Saudis refused to send a high-level representative to the emergency summit of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) in Turkey last week that was chaired by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and attended by Abbas and Jordan’s King Abdullah and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

Erdogan, May call for ‘intense efforts’

In a telephone conversation on Monday, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and British Prime Minister Theresa May called on the international community to make “intense efforts” to solve the issue of Jerusalem al-Quds.

Al-Quds remains at the core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with Palestinians hoping that the eastern part of the city would eventually serve as the capital of a future independent Palestinian state.

‘UNSC vote proof of US isolation’

Brutz Katz, the co-president of Palestinian and Jewish Unity, believes that the UNSC’s meeting on Monday once again revealed that the United States is largely isolated within the Security Council, especially when it comes to its policy towards Israel.

Basically, the entire question of moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem al-Quds has been pushed by extremist elements both within and outside the Trump administration, Katz told Press TV.

He said Washington’s move has proved to be counterproductive and “contrary to the wishes of both Tel Aviv and Riyadh” because it has unified countries on the question of the international status of Jerusalem al-Quds and put the question on the very top of the Islamic agenda.

Also talking to Press TV, Joe Lombardo, with the United National Antiwar Coalition, described the outcome of the UNSC’s meeting as a “political defeat” for President Trump, stressing that the yes votes cast by other members of the council were the result of growing popular pressure in those countries following Trump’s al-Quds decision.

Lombardo pointed out at the reluctance of former US administrations to act on the highly controversial issue. “This is really a bipartisan issue and several presidents prior to Trump had also pushed forward this idea. They never acted on it. There is a kind of trigger in the United States where every six months they have to decide whether they are going to act on the resolution that calls for Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel and for the US embassy to be moved to Jerusalem and they have not acted on it because they understood the political implications.”

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