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US vetoes UNSC resolution to recognise Palestine state

US vetoes UNSC resolution to recognise Palestine state

People stage a protest for the release of hostages held in Gaza near Ben Shemen in Israel. Reuters



Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 19

The United States on Thursday blocked a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution that would have recognised a Palestinian state. Twelve members of the Security Council had voted in favour of the resolution and two countries — the UK and Switzerland — abstained. But a US veto ensured that the UNSC did not adopt a draft resolution which would otherwise have gone to the General Assembly for a vote.

‘Unfair, immoral’

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the veto by the US “is unfair, immoral, and unjustified, and defies the will of the international community, which strongly supports the State of Palestine obtaining full membership in the UN”.

‘Proposal shameful’

Israel’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz praised the US for vetoing a “shameful proposal” for what could have been a “reward for terrorism” after “the sexual crimes and other atrocities committed by Hamas terrorists”.

The draft resolution, among the shortest in the UNSC’s history, stated, “The UNSC, having examined the application of the State of Palestine for admission to the UN, recommends to the General Assembly that the State of Palestine be admitted to membership in the UN.”

It was six months into the war in Gaza that Palestine had submitted a request to the UN Secretary-General on April 2, asking that a 2011 request to become a UN Member State be reconsidered. In 2011, the UNSC had considered the request but was not able to find unity in sending a recommendation to the General Assembly. The UNSC sent this request to its Committee on the Admission of Member States, which met on April 8 and 11 to discuss the matter.

Palestine has been a Permanent Observer at the UN since 2012, before which it was an observer in the UN General Assembly.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas sharply criticised the US veto, saying it was “unfair, immoral, and unjustified, and defies the will of the international community, which strongly supports the State of Palestine obtaining full membership in the UN”. But Israel’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz praised the US for vetoing a “shameful proposal” for what could have been a “reward for terrorism” after “the sexual crimes and other atrocities committed by Hamas terrorists”.

The US State Department had indicated before the vote that Washington would veto the proposal because it believes that future statehood should be contingent on negotiations between Israel and Palestinians.

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