Palestinians welcome support after UN vote on Jerusalem


Ramallah (Palestinian Territories) (AFP)

The Palestinian president welcomed Thursday a United Nations General Assembly resolution criticising the US government's controversial recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

"This decision reaffirms once again that the just Palestinian cause enjoys the support of international law, and no decision by any party can change the reality," a statement from Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas's spokesman said, stressing it showed "that Jerusalem is occupied territory under international law."

"We will continue our efforts in the United Nations and all international forums to end the occupation and create a Palestinian state with its capital in east Jerusalem," the statement added.

The Islamist movement Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip and has fought three wars with Israel since 2008, said it was a blow to Israel's attempts to "judaise" Jerusalem.

In a statement the party called the vote "a step in the right direction, a victory of Palestinian rights and a blow to the Trump declaration."

The General Assembly adopted the motion rejecting US President Donald Trump's December 6 decision by 128 votes to nine, with 35 abstentions.

Trump had warned ahead of the vote in the 193-nation assembly that "we're watching" and threatened reprisals against countries backing the measure, which reaffirms that the status of Jerusalem must be resolved through negotiations.

The measure was sent to the General Assembly after it was vetoed by the United States at the Security Council on Monday, although all other 14 council members voted in favour.