UNITED NATION – The U.N. General Assembly has approved a resolution to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Nakba, a term used to describe the forced displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in the lead-up to the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948.
Ninety countries voted in favor of the measure, with 30 voting against it and 47 abstaining.
The resolution was one of five that were voted on in the U.N. on Thursday which related to Israel and Palestine. The U.N. also voted in favor of renaming a journalism training program after Shireen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian journalist who was killed by Israeli forces during a raid in the occupied West Bank.
And another adopted resolution called for a “halt to all settlement activities, land confiscation and home demolitions, for the release of prisoners and for an end to arbitrary arrests and detentions.” A final resolution called for Israel to rescind its control over the occupied region of the Golan Heights.
The Nakba resolution includes the organizing of a high-level event at the General Assembly on May 15.
Two-state solution nearly dead
Meanwhile, the Palestinian envoy to the U.N., Riyad Mansour, warned the U.N. that the two-state solution was at imminent risk and urged the international body to pressure Israel as well as to grant Palestinians full recognition.
Mansour called on the U.N. to acknowledge a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.
“We are at the end of the road for the two-state solution,” Mansour told the U.N. “Either the international community summons the will to act decisively or it will let peace die passively. Passively, not peacefully.
“Anybody serious about the two-state solution must help salvage the Palestinian state,” he said. “The alternative is what we are living under now — a regime that has combined the evils of colonialism and apartheid.”
Mansour also slammed the incoming far-right coalition in Israel, led by former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as “the most colonial, racist and extremist government in the history of Israel.”
However, the Palestinian representative also hailed the U.N.’s request for an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands since 1967.
Israel’s ambassador to the U.N., Gilad Erdan, said the resolutions’ “sole purpose is to put all the blame for what is happening in the Middle East solely on Israel while absolving the Palestinians of any responsibility.”
“Try to imagine the international community commemorating your country’s Independence Day by calling it a disaster. What a disgrace,” Erdan said of the Nakba resolution. “The Palestinians’ lies must no longer be accepted on the world stage, just as this body must stop allowing the Palestinians to continue pulling its strings. I urge you all to stop blindly supporting the Palestinians’ libels.”
The comments from both Mansour and Erdan come amid heightened tensions following a spike in Israeli violence against Palestinians in the West Bank this year and a resurgence of Palestinian armed resistance.
Israeli forces and settlers have killed 139 Palestinians, including at least 30 children, in the West Bank this year, making it the deadliest on a monthly average for Palestinians since the U.N. began recording fatalities in 2005.
Israeli casualties also witnessed a spike in 2022 compared with recent years. At the same time, there has been a steep rise in settler attacks against Palestinians and security forces.
Tor Wennesland, the U.N.’s envoy to the Middle East, warned on Monday that the tensions were “reaching a boiling point.”