By Aysar al-Issa and Mohamed Majed
RAMALLAH, GAZA, Palestine
The Palestinian presidency welcomed a UN General Assembly vote on Thursday evening which rejected U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
The full 193-member UN General Assembly met for a rare emergency special session regarding U.S. President Donald Trump's Dec. 6 decision. Unlike at the Security Council, the U.S. has no veto power in the assembly.
A total of 128 members voted in favor of the resolution, nine countries voted against and 35 others abstained.
“The decision once again reflects the international community's position with the Palestinian people, which did not give way to being threatened or blackmailed,” Palestinian official news agency Wafa quoted presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina as saying.
"This decision reaffirms once again that the just Palestinian cause enjoys the support of the international community, and no decisions made by any side could change the reality that Jerusalem is an occupied territory under international law," he added.
“We will continue our efforts at the United Nations and all international forums to put an end to this occupation and to establish our Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital," said Abu Rudeina.
"We thank all the countries that supported the resolution and expressed their free political will, despite all the pressure exerted on them," the statement added.
Hamas said the resolution was a blow to Trump’s declaration.
"This decision is a step in the right direction, a victory for Palestinian rights and a blow to Trump’s declaration," Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said in a statement Thursday evening.
On Wednesday, Trump vowed to cut financial aid from countries voting for the UN resolution.
The draft resolution affirmed that the issue of Jerusalem is a final-status issue which must be resolved through direct negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis, in accordance with the relevant Security Council resolutions.