U.S. Vetoes UN Resolution for Membership of Palestine as Member

Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan addressing the UN Security Council after the resolution to accept Palestine failed.

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United States vetoed a U.N. resolution on Thursday to pave the way for full United Nations General Assembly to vote on membership for the state of Palestine.

The vote in the 15-member Security Council was 12 in favor, the United States opposed and two abstentions.

The resolution would have recommended that the 193-member General Assembly, where there are no vetoes, approve Palestine becoming the 194th member of the United Nations. Some 140 countries have already recognized the state of Palestine, so its admission would have been approved.

This is the second Palestinian attempt to become a full member of the United Nations. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas first delivered the Palestinian Authority’s application for U.N. membership to then-Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in 2011. That initial bid failed because the Palestinians didn’t get the required minimum support of nine of the Security Council’s 15 members.

The General Assembly then voted by more than a two-thirds majority to raise the status from a U.N. observer to a non-member observer state. That opened the door for the Palestinian territories to join U.N. and other international organizations, including the International Criminal Court.

Before Thursday’s vote, U.S. deputy State Department spokesman Vedant Patel said the United States has “been very clear consistently that premature actions in New York — even with the best intentions — will not achieve statehood for the Palestinian people.”

Palestinian membership “needs to be the outcome of the negotiation between Israel and the Palestinians,” U.S. deputy ambassador Robert Wood said. It “is something that would flow from the result of those negotiations.”

Anything that gets in the way “makes it more difficult to have those negotiations” and doesn’t help move toward a two-state solution where Israel and Palestine live side by side in peace, which “we all want,” Wood told reporters.

Israeli U.N. Ambassador Gilad Erdan called the resolution “disconnected to the reality on the ground” and warned that it “will cause only destruction for years to come and harm any chance for future dialogue.”

Six months after the Oct. 7 attack on southern Israel by Hamas, which controlled Gaza, and the killing of 1,200 people in “the most brutal massacre of Jews since the Holocaust,” he accused the Security Council of seeking “to reward the perpetrators of these atrocities with statehood.”

Erdan listed the requirements for U.N. membership — accepting the obligations in the U.N. Charter and especially being a “peace-loving” state.

“What a joke,” he said. “Does anyone doubt that the Palestinians failed to meet these criteria? Did anyone hear any Palestinian leader even condemn the massacre of our children?”

The Palestinians revived their bid for U.N. membership in early April. Ziad Abu Amr, special representative of the Palestinian president, asked the U.S. and other countries opposed to its U.N. membership how that could damage prospects for peace or harm international peace and security when they already recognize Israel and approved its U.N. membership.

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