PH backs UN resolution condemning Israeli settlements
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines has voted in favor of a United Nations General Assembly resolution condemning “Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem and the occupied Syrian Golan.”
The country joined 144 other nations in voting affirmative to the resolution approved on Nov. 9 by the Special Political and Decolonization Committee (Fourth Committee) of the General Assembly.
Seven countries—Canada, Hungary, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia and Nauru, as well as the United States and Israel—voted against the resolution, while 18 others abstained.
Among the countries that voted in favor were China, France, Japan, Malaysia, Russia, South Africa and the United Kingdom.
The resolution condemned settlement activities by Israel in the Palestinian territories of the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and East Jerusalem, saying these violated international humanitarian law, relevant UN resolutions and agreements between the concerned parties in those territories.
There are more than 30 Israeli settlements in the Golan in southwestern Syria which is home to an estimated 20,000 people. The settlers live alongside some 20,000 Syrians, most of them Druze Arabs, who did not flee when the Golan was captured by Israel in the Six Day War of 1967.
‘Violence and terror’
The resolution said Israel’s actions were “in defiance of the calls by the international community to cease all settlement activities.”
The General Assembly “condemn[s]… all acts of violence, destruction, harassment, provocation and incitement by Israeli settlers… against Palestinian civilians, including children, and their properties, including historic and religious sites, and agricultural lands, as well as acts of terror by several extremist Israeli settlers, and call[s] for accountability for the illegal actions perpetrated in this regard,” the resolution read.
It also condemned “acts of violence and terror against civilians on both sides.”
Israeli settlements were among the notable targets of the Oct. 7 coordinated attacks on Israel by Hamas militants.
The resolution deplored Israel’s construction and expansion of settlements, the continuing demolition of Palestinian homes and eviction of Palestinian families, and the revocation of Palestinian residency rights, all in East Jerusalem.
It also called for “accountability for the illegal actions perpetrated by Israeli settlers,” as they stressed the responsibility of Israel “to investigate all acts of settler violence against Palestinian civilians and their properties and to ensure accountability for these acts and end prevailing impunity.”
Last month, the Philippines was among 45 countries, including Canada, Australia and Ukraine, that abstained from voting on a resolution calling for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) had clarified that the Philippines would have voted in favor, had the resolution mentioned and condemned the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks that killed more than 1,400 people in Israel, including four Filipinos and other foreigners.
Latest batch of repatriates
Meanwhile, the seventh batch of 39 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) arrived on Monday at Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
These include 29 caregivers and 10 hotel workers, the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) said.
On Sunday night, 41 Filipinos and seven Palestinian family members, mostly spouses, arrived in Manila.
A total of 222 OFWs in Israel have now been repatriated, according to the DMW.
In Gaza, a third batch of 14 Filipinos, including their families, have been able to leave the Rafah border, the DFA said in a statement on Monday.
The Philippine Embassy in Lebanon also repatriated 12 Filipinos, amid alert level 3 which the Philippine government had raised in Lebanon due to heightened tensions in its southern border with Israel. INQ