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General Assembly urges Middle East sides to extend truce to West Bank

1 December 2006 Under the terms of one of a series of resolutions on the Middle East passed by large majorities today, the United Nations General Assembly welcomed the recent Palestinian truce initiative and its acceptance by Israel, and urged both sides to maintain and extend it to the West Bank.

One hundred and fifty-seven countries voted in favour of that text, which was opposed by seven others – the United States, Israel, Australia, the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru and Palau. It encouraged the Security Council to become more active in the efforts towards achieving a peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine.

Noting that the Israeli withdrawal from within the Gaza Strip and parts of the northern West Bank and the dismantlement of the settlements are “a step towards the implementation of the road map” outline peace plan, the Assembly reiterated longstanding calls for “the withdrawal of Israel from the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967 and the realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.”

By the terms of a resolution adopted by the same majority, the Assembly said “any actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the Holy City of Jerusalem are illegal and therefore null and void and have no validity whatsoever, and calls upon Israel to cease all such illegal and unilateral measures.”

The resolution stressed that a “comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the question of the City of Jerusalem should take into account the legitimate concerns of both the Palestinian and Israeli sides and should include internationally guaranteed provisions to ensure the freedom of religion and of conscience of its inhabitants, as well as permanent, free and unhindered access to the holy places by the people of all religions and nationalities.”

A separate text, adopted by a vote of 107 in favour to 6 against (Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, United States), with 60 abstentions restated the Assembly’s demand that Israel withdraw from all the occupied Syrian Golan to the line of 4 June 1967.

The Assembly also voted to adopt resolutions on the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, the UN’s Division for Palestinian Rights, and the Department of Public Information’s special information programme on the question of Palestine.

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