The Board of Deputies has said it “warmly welcomes” the UK’s first ever vote against a UN General Assembly resolution urging Israel to return the Golan Heights to Syria.

Jewish representatives applauded the approach as “the latest in a series of principled votes by the UK against disproportionate, biased resolutions concerning Israel in UN institutions”.

The Board’s senior vice president Richard Verber said: “We are very encouraged by the UK’s stance given that the attention received by other conflicts and pressing concerns is pitifully low.”

British diplomats said they were voting against the Syrian-backed resolution at the UN General Assembly, which criticised Israeli control of the Golan Heights, because “resolutions which undermine the credibility of UN bodies risk hardening positions on both sides, and do little to advance peace or mutual understanding”.

The UK delegate added that the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad was using the vote “to deflect attention from its own criminal actions and indiscriminate slaughter of its own citizens”.

The UK was the only European Union country to vote against the motion, with all others abstaining.

Earlier this year voted against a similar resolution at the UN Human Rights Council’s (UNHRC), the UK mission at the time criticising the 135-member UN body’s “selective focus” on Israel.