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US Veto Halts UN Recognition of Palestinian Statehood Amidst Ongoing Conflict

On Thursday, the United States exercised its veto power in the United Nations Security Council, effectively blocking the recognition of a Palestinian state. The draft resolution proposed full membership for Palestine in the UN, but the US veto prevented its passage. While Britain and Switzerland abstained, the remaining council members voted in favor.

Deputy US Ambassador to the UN, Robert Wood, clarified that the US’s decision wasn’t against Palestinian statehood but emphasized the necessity of direct negotiations between the involved parties for its realization. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas criticized the US’s move as unfair and unjustified, while Palestinian UN Ambassador Riyad Mansour expressed determination despite the setback.

The Palestinian bid for full UN membership came amid ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, alongside Israel’s expansion of settlements in the occupied West Bank, deemed illegal by the UN. Israel’s Foreign Minister praised the US’s veto, while Israel’s UN Ambassador expressed disappointment at the council’s support for the resolution, fearing it would bolster Palestinian rejectionism.

The Palestinians currently hold non-member observer state status at the UN since 2012, but achieving full membership requires Security Council approval and subsequent endorsement by two-thirds of the General Assembly. Britain’s UN Ambassador stressed the need to address the crisis in Gaza before considering Palestinian statehood.

The UN Security Council has long advocated for a two-state solution, with Palestinians seeking statehood in the West Bank, east Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip. Algeria’s UN Ambassador argued that admitting Palestine to the UN would strengthen the two-state solution.

The Palestinian Authority, led by Abbas, governs parts of the West Bank, while Hamas controls Gaza since 2007. Hamas denounced the US’s stance and urged international support for Palestinian rights.

Tensions persist between Israel and Hamas, with Israel retaliating against Hamas attacks in Gaza. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres cautioned that the lack of progress towards a two-state solution could escalate violence and endanger millions in the region.

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