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US move on Jerusalem a test for UN strength
International anger over US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise occupied Jerusalem as Israel’s capital will not be doused until Washington takes corrective measures by reversing its deplorable stand.

It is good that the UN Security Council is considering a draft resolution stating that any change to the status of occupied Jerusalem has no legal effect and must be reversed.

The draft resolution correctly stresses that occupied Jerusalem is an issue to be resolved through negotiations and any decision or action which purport to have altered the character, status or demographic composition of occupied Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded.

The reality is that the unilateral nature of the US decision regarding occupied Jerusalem clashes with legitimacy and international conventions and contradicts the will of the rest of the international community.

This was also clearly highlighted at the Security Council meeting held on Dec.8 as well as the stance of the European Union’s ministers of foreign affairs during their meeting in Brussels on Dec.11, 2017.

On the ground, Israeli atrocities have been continuing unabated.

The merciless killing by Israeli troops of a Palestinian activist who had lost both his legs as he protested against the US decision on occupied Jerusalem has traumatised the world.

Wheelchair-bound Ibraheem Abu Thuraya, 29, is among eight Palestinians killed since Donald Trump took the controversial and condemnable decision.

Settlement expansion is already making the two-State solution increasingly unattainable and undermining Palestinian belief in peace efforts.

The United Nations considers all settlement activities to be illegal under international law and an impediment to peace. Settlements reduce and fragment the territory Palestinians rightfully need for a viable state.

According to recent UN statistics, Israeli settlements in the West Bank have continued to grow steadily by around 5.5 per cent, where more than 80 per cent of all settlers reside. The current growth rate is estimated to increase the number of settlers to nearly 900,000 in just 12 years.

The world has been waiting for a Palestine state for decades. None can deny the fact that Trump’s decision represents a major violation of the principles of international law and goes against the UN Security Council resolutions. It comes as a test for the United Nations to prove the effectiveness of its decisions.

Washington should shed its ego, heed the collective stance of the rest of the world and correct its historic blunder.

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