Netanyahu asks for Ukraine vote, Zelensky says not without weapons
Ukraine doesn't comply with Israeli calls against the UN resolution and abstains from attending the assembly.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, during a phone call on Friday, called on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to vote against the UN General Assembly resolution that calls on the International Court of Justice to issue an opinion on the Israeli occupation's actions on the Palestinian territories, Ukrainian and Israeli officials told Axios.
Ukraine voted in favor of the resolution during an earlier UN committee vote but refused to attend the General Assembly vote on Friday "in order to give a chance to the relationship with Netanyahu," the Ukrainian official said.
The UN General Assembly approved the resolution late Friday, with 87 countries voting in favor, 24 countries voting against, and 53 countries abstaining, according to Axios.
It states that the ICJ will draft a nonbinding opinion on the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, which could take between one to two years.
The opinion should address the "legal consequences of the Israeli occupation, settlement, and annexation, which include measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character, and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem," the resolution reads.
The opinion should also address the question of “how the policies and practices of Israel affect the legal status of the occupation, and what are the legal consequences that arise for all States and the United Nations from this status."
Ukraine defies the Israeli request
Several weeks ago, Ukraine disregarded the Israeli request to vote against the resolution during the UN committee vote after "Israel" did not comply with the Ukrainian plea for military assistance. In response, Israeli foreign ministry officials furiously summoned the Ukrainian ambassador for talks.
Netanyahu called Zelensky as part of a series of phone calls with some leaders, who had previously voted in favor of the resolution.
The occupation wanted them to change their votes and oppose the resolution or at least abstain, a senior Israeli official told Axios.
During the call with Netanyahu, Zelensky stated that in exchange for voting against the resolution or abstaining, he wanted to hear how the new Israeli government would change its policy and provide Ukraine with defense systems against Russian attacks using ballistic missiles and 'Iranian-made drones', a Ukrainian official said.
The official added that Netanyahu wasn't committed to anything but was ready to discuss Zelensky’s requests in the future, adding that Zelensky didn’t like the answer and didn’t agree to vote against the resolution or abstain. Instead, he instructed Ukraine’s ambassador to the UN to not attend the vote.
What does that mean?
“The two leaders weren’t satisfied and didn’t get what they wanted. Zelensky decided that we will not attend the vote in order to give a chance to the relationship with Netanyahu," the Ukrainian official said.
While Ukraine did not vote in favor of the resolution, "Israel" was disappointed that instead of abstaining, Kiev chose not to attend the vote, according to a senior Israeli official, reported by Axios.
Netanyahu’s office told Axios: "Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke to President Zelensky, and Ukraine which voted before in favor of the anti-Israeli resolution, didn’t attend the vote this time. Other than that we will not comment on diplomatic conversations."
Moreover, Zelensky tweeted on Saturday that in the two leaders' phone call, he "congratulated Netanyahu on taking office as Prime Minister. We discussed bilateral cooperation between our states, including in the security sphere and interaction on international platforms. We also touched on the implementation of the Ukrainian peace formula."
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