Following is the statement by the General Assembly’s Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People regarding the recognition by the United States of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel:
The United Nations General Assembly’s Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People expresses its grave concern over and strongly denounces the decision by the United States to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to transfer the United States Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
These unilateral actions are in flagrant violation of relevant Security Council resolutions, including resolutions 476 (1980) and 478 (1980) and most recently resolution 2334 (2016), as well as a number of General Assembly resolutions, including resolution 181 (II) and most recently resolution A/72/15. These decisions will only further embolden Israel, the occupying Power, in pursuing its illegal actions, including its unlawful annexation of East Jerusalem, and heighten tensions, with far‑reaching repercussions and unimaginable consequences in the wider Middle East region and throughout the world.
The City of Jerusalem, a fulcrum of the Question of Palestine, is of special importance to both Israelis and Palestinians and holds unique spiritual, religious and cultural dimensions and heritage as a sacred city to the followers of the three monotheistic religions. The international community, through the United Nations, has condemned all measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem and has stated that it will not recognize changes to the 1967 lines, including with regards to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations.
It has repeatedly underscored 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 people of all religions and nationalities.
The Committee stresses the need for urgent collective efforts to promote peace and security through an end to the Israeli occupation that began in 1967, and calls for the intensification of all international and regional undertakings towards this goal, including those related to the preservation of the two‑State solution, based on the pre‑1967 lines and with East Jerusalem as the capital of the independent State of Palestine.
The Committee strongly urges the Government of the United States to rescind its decisions to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to transfer the United States Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The Committee reaffirms its longstanding support and solidarity with the Palestinian people in their quest to achieve their inalienable rights and legitimate national aspirations, including their right to self‑determination and freedom in an independent State of Palestine, living in peace with all its neighbours.
The United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People was established in 1975 pursuant to General Assembly resolution 3376, with a mandate to advise the General Assembly on programmes to enable Palestinian people to exercise their inalienable rights, including the right to self‑determination without external interference, the right to national independence and sovereignty, and the right to return to their homes and property from which they have been displaced. The Committee consists of 26 United Nations Member States, while 22 Member States and 2 international organizations act as Observers on the Committee.