The UN Security Council is considering a draft resolution finding any change to the status of Jerusalem has no legal effect and must be reversed, after the US recognized the city as Israel’s capital.
Egypt circulated the draft text on Saturday, and diplomats said the council could vote on the proposed measure as early as Monday.
Breaking with the international consensus, US President Donald Trump this month announced that he would recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the US embassy there from Tel Aviv, sparking protests and strong condemnation.
The draft resolution obtained by AFP stresses that Jerusalem is an issue “to be resolved through negotiations” and expresses “deep regret at recent decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem,” without specifically mentioning Trump’s move.
“Any decisions and actions which purport to have altered the character, status or demographic composition” of Jerusalem “have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded,” it says.
Diplomats said they expected the United States to use its veto power to block the measure while most, if not all, of the 14 other council members were expected to back the draft resolution.
US Vice President Mike Pence will visit Jerusalem on Wednesday, wading into the crisis over one of the most controversial issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The draft resolution calls on all countries to refrain from opening embassies in Jerusalem, reflecting concerns that other governments could follow the US lead.
It demands that all member-states not recognize any actions that are contrary to UN resolutions on the status of the city.
The Palestinians had sought a toughly-worded draft resolution that would have directly called on the US administration to scrap its decision.
But some US allies on the council such as Britain, France, Egypt, Japan and Ukraine were reluctant to be too hard-hitting and insisted that the proposed measure should reaffirm the position enshrined in current resolutions, diplomats said.
Backed by Muslim countries, the Palestinians are expected to turn to the UN General Assembly to adopt a resolution rejecting the US decision, if, as expected, the measure is vetoed by the United States at the council.
Aside from the United States, Britain, China, France and Russia can veto any resolution presented at the council, which requires nine votes for adoption.