Netanyahu says Israel is not bound by ‘disgusting’ UN vote

Netanyahu says Israel is not bound by 'disgusting' UN vote
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RAMALLAH, West Bank, Dec 31 (Reuters) – Israel condemned and Palestinians welcomed a U.N. General Assembly vote on Saturday to make the International Court of Justice Provide an opinion Regarding the legal consequences of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories.

Friday’s vote presents a challenge for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Netanyahuwho this week took over as head of a government that has prioritized settlement expansion and includes groups that want to annex West Bank land on which they are built.

“The Jewish people are not occupiers in their own land or occupiers in our eternal capital, Jerusalem, and no UN resolution can distort that historical fact,” Netanyahu said in a video message, adding that Israel was not bound by the “abhorrent decision”.

Palestinians want a state in the occupied West Bank, along with Gaza and East Jerusalem. Most countries consider Israel’s settlements there illegal, a view Israel disputes, citing historical and biblical ties to the land.

The Hague-based International Court of Justice (ICJ), also known as the World Court, is the United Nations’ highest court for disputes between states. Its judgments are binding, although the ICJ does not have the power to enforce them.

The UN General Assembly asked the ICJ to issue an advisory opinion on the “legal consequences of Israel’s occupation, settlement and annexation … including measures aimed at changing the population composition, character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem”.

Members of Netanyahu’s new government have pledged to settle settlements by approving dozens of outposts built without development plans, budgets and permits.

The cabinet includes newly created positions and restructured roles that give some of those powers to pro-backed coalition partners, who ultimately aim to extend Israeli sovereignty over the West Bank.

Netanyahu, however, gave no indication of any imminent move to annex the settlements, a move that would likely shake his relations with Western and Arab allies alike.

The Palestinians welcomed the UN vote in which 87 members voted to accept the request; Israel, the United States and 24 other members voted against; and 53 abstained.

“It is time for Israel to become a state under law and be held accountable for the ongoing crimes against our people,” said Nabil Abu Rudeneh, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, whose Palestinian Authority has limited self-rule. West Bank

Bassem Naim, an official with Hamas, the Islamist militant group that controls Gaza, said it was “an important step towards limiting and isolating the occupying state (Israel).”

Written by Mayan Lubell; Editing by Kim Coghill and Frances Carey

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