RAMALLAH, Dec. 18 (Xinhua) -- Palestine on Friday welcomed the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA)'s vote in favor of a resolution endorsing the Palestinian people's right to self-determination.
A majority of 168 countries voted for the resolution on Thursday night. Five countries, including Israel and the U.S., voted against, and ten others abstained.
"The adoption by the UNGA of the draft resolution affirms Israel's failure, and it is an international response to Israel's crimes and settler violence as well as of the Palestinian people's sovereignty over their territories," Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said in a press statement.
Al-Maliki urged all states and the UN agencies to continue supporting the Palestinian people to realize at an early date their right to self-determination, including establishing an independent state.
He called for implementing the rules of international law, including the International Court of Justice's advisory opinion, which affirms that the apartheid wall and settlements constructed by Israel deprive the Palestinian people of their right to self-determination.
Al-Maliki also urged the UN "to assume its responsibilities to safeguard this inalienable and non-negotiable right and take practical steps that would end the occupation and dismantle Israel's settlements."
Israel occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem, which are claimed by the Palestinians, in the 1967 Middle East war, and has controlled them ever since. Enditem