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UN passes resolution in favor of Palestinians’ sovereignty over their natural resources

This file picture shows a view of UN General Assembly meeting at the UN Headquarters in New York City, the United States. (Photo via Twitter)

The United Nations has overwhelmingly adopted a resolution, which grants Palestinians permanent sovereignty over their natural resources in the Israeli-occupied territories, including East al-Quds.

On Thursday, the Economic and Financial Committee of the UN General Assembly, also known as the Second Committee, endorsed a draft resolution entitled “Permanent Sovereignty of the Palestinian People in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East al-Quds, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources” by 157-7 votes, with 14 abstentions, Palestinian news agency Wafa reported.

The United States, Israel, Canada, Nauru, Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and Palau voted against the motion.

The UN resolution reaffirms that Israel's construction of the Separation Wall and illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank and strategic Syrian Golan Heights constitutes a violation of international law, and deprives Palestinian people of their natural resources.

It demanded Israel to abide by the decision of the International Court of Justice regarding the illegality of building the apartheid wall.

The resolution went on to demand “that Israel, the occupying power, cease the exploitation, damage, cause of loss or depletion and endangerment of natural resources in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East al-Quds, and in the occupied Syrian Golan.”

The resolution also called on the Israeli regime to halt the dumping of all kinds of waste materials and all those by extremist Jewish settlers in the occupied Palestinian and Syrian territories, which gravely threaten water and land resources of civilian populations, and pose environmental, sanitation and health threats to locals.

It also pointed to the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334, which was adopted on December 23, 2016, and calls on world states to distinguish in their dealings between Israeli communities and Palestinian lands occupied by Israel.

The resolution then called on the UN Secretary-General António Guterres to present at the next meeting a report on the implementation of the resolution, and the Israeli regime's exploitation of Palestinian natural resources in the occupied territories.

Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, hailed the resolution for his part, and said the move confirms once again the international community's support for the full rights of the Palestinian nation.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said, “Voting in favor of this resolution affirms the rights of the Palestinian people and their sovereignty over their natural resources, including land, water and energy resources.”

Maliki called on Israel to “stop exploiting the natural resources in the occupied Palestinian territory.”

He also called on the international community to “work to compel the occupation to implement international resolutions and to ensure the freedom of the Palestinian people to benefit from their natural resources.”

Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state with East al-Quds as its capital.

The UN Security Council has condemned Israel’s settlement activities in the occupied territories in several resolutions.

More than 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the West Bank and East al-Quds.

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