UN in the News
U.N. Assembly passes resolution condemning Israel's use of force, Israel rejects as biased
October 21, 2000
UNITED NATIONS (CNN) -- In an
emergency session Friday night, the
United Nations General Assembly
approved 92-6 a resolution critical of
Israel's role in the latest Middle East
Both the United States and Israel voted
against the resolution, and 46 countries
"It was a mistake to bring this kind of resolution to the floor in the middle of a
world crisis," Richard Holbrooke, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations,
said Friday night.
The resolution "condemns acts of violence, especially the excessive use of force
by the Israeli forces against Palestinian civilians." It also condemns Israeli
settlements in the occupied territories, calling them "illegal" and an "obstacle to
The resolution also called for an "immediate cessation of violence and use of
force" and a resumption of peace talks between the Palestinian and Israeli
Yehuda Lancry, Israel's ambassador to the United
Nations, said the resolution was "useless," and
that his country rejected the measure.
"(The resolution) doesn't say anything about the
savage destruction of the military in Ramallah, the
Israeli soldiers mutilated in Ramallah," he said.
"This resolution is certainly a negative message to
the will of the Israeli people to move toward
Israelis and Palestinians blame each other for the
recent fighting in which more than 100 people --
all but a handful of them Palestinians or Israeli
Arabs -- have died since September 28.
Nasser al-Kidwa, the Palestinian observer in the
United Nations, praised on Friday the countries
that supported the "very important" resolution. He
said the measure's timing was important.
"Today, 10 more martyrs have fallen in the
occupied territories, two of them children under
18," al-Kidwa said.
"We strongly hope that the current tragedy will
end, that the killing and wounding of our people
will cease. We are doing our utmost for that end,
including implementation of the Sharm el-Sheikh
(Egypt) understandings," al-Kidwa said.
Arab and Islamic states had proposed a resolution
expressing "deep concern" about "violence,
including police brutality, that took place in Israel
resulting in many deaths," but that wording was deleted from the final draft after
intense negotiations with representatives from the European Union.
Compared to a resolution adopted Thursday in Geneva by the U.N.'s
Commission on Human Rights, which fiercely condemned Israel for "crimes
against humanity," the language of the General Assembly's resolution is mild.
Holbrooke told reporters earlier Friday that the United States preferred not to
have a resolution, but that it was willing to support a simple two-part statement
commending U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan's efforts to negotiate a truce
and expressing support for the agreement between the two sides made at Sharm
el-Sheikh, Egypt, earlier this week.
Holbrooke said, with the resolution having been dealt with, that it was time for
the Israelis and Palestinians to work through the crisis.
"It's a signal to the Palestinians that it's time to get back to talking to Israel,
rather than try to isolate Israel by diplomatic means while the West Bank is
aflame," Holbrooke said.
Israel rejects UN condemnation as biased
Israel rejected on Saturday a resolution by the United Nations
General Assembly condemning it for using "excessive force"
against Palestinians during a wave of clashes that have been the
bloodiest in years. Ninety-two countries voted in favor, six against
and 46 abstained in a Friday night vote on the resolution, which
was drawn up by Palestinian delegates and sponsored by Arab
and Islamic nations as well as Cuba.
Israel's foreign ministry said it categorically rejected the resolution,
calling it "completely one sided." The foreign ministry also
complained that the UN had turned a blind eye to the lynching of
two Israeli soldiers under Palestinian police protection and the
desecration of Jewish holy sites by Palestinian mobs earlier this
month. "The resolution avoids the fact that the Palestinian Authority
arranged and initiated the bloody events," it said.
"The decision taken yesterday by less than half of the United
Nations members does not help efforts to calm the situation and to
end the violence by the Palestinians as required by the Sharm
al-Sheikh agreement," the foreign ministry said. "The Israeli
government will do all it can to calm the situation and expects
Palestinian leaders to act the same."
UN General Assembly Voting Details - Resolution Against Israel 20 October 2000
The Assembly adopted the resolution on illegal Israeli actions in
occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the occupied Palestinian
territory (document A/ES-10/L.6) by a recorded vote of 92 in favour
to 6 against, with 46 abstentions, as follows:
In favour: Algeria, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan,
Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Bosnia and
Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Cape
Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Cuba, Cyprus,
Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Ecuador, Egypt,
Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gambia, Ghana, Greece, Guinea, Guyana,
India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Jamaica, Jordan, Kuwait, Lao
People's Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Libya, Luxembourg, Madagascar,
Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia,
Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan,
Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea,
Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, South Africa,
Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Thailand, Togo,
Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of
Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
Against: Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands,
Nauru, Tuvalu, United States.
Abstain: Albania, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Barbados, Benin,
Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic,
Denmark, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Germany,
Grenada, Guatemala, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Japan,
Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania,
Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Poland, Romania, Saint
Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sierra Leone,
Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, The former Yugoslav Republic of
Macedonia, Tonga, United Kingdom.
Absent: Afghanistan, Angola, Bahamas, Belarus, Bhutan, Cambodia,
Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Equatorial
Guinea, Eritrea, Gabon, Honduras, Kiribati, Lesotho, Malawi, Nigeria,
Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint
Lucia, Solomon Islands, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkmenistan, Uganda,