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PLO: US bullying will not deter UN member states from voting against Jerusalem decision

Dec. 21, 2017 1:55 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 22, 2017 6:45 P.M.)
UN General Assembly (AFP, File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) slammed the US for threatening to take action against countries that vote in favor of a United Nations (UN) resolution that condemns the Trump administration's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The decision, which has been widely condemned by international leaders, has caused weeks of unrest in the region, with Israeli forces killing 10 Palestinians since the announcement -- six of whom who were killed in protests against Trump’s decision.

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley exercised the US’ veto power on Monday at the UN Security Council (UNSC) to kill a resolution critical of Trump’s unilateral move. The veto blocked the resolution, despite the 14 other members of the Security Council voting in favor.

Another meeting was called to vote on a resolution calling for annulling the US decision, this time, to the General Assembly where US does not have a veto power. The General Assembly is expected to vote on Thursday.

Ahead of the vote the US said that it would “take names” and possibly cut donor funding to those countries who voted against it.

“All of these nations that take our money and then they vote against us at the (UN) Security Council or they vote against us, potentially, at the (General) Assembly, they take hundreds of millions of dollars and even billions of dollars and then they vote against us,” Trump said at his cabinet meeting. “Well, we’re watching those votes. Let them vote against us; we’ll save a lot. We don’t care.”

Responding to Trump’s threats, Hanan Ashrawi, member of the PLO’s Executive Committee, described them as “blackmail and extortion.”

"President Trump should know that there are things that are not for sale or subject to blackmail, particularly issues of principle, legality and morality. Extortion is the most effective way for the US to isolate itself even further and to weaken its influence and standing globally,” she said.

“We will not be deterred or intimidated. The overwhelming majority of the UN General Assembly members will honor their own legal and political obligations on Palestine," she stressed.
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