US blocks Palestinian statehood bid at UN through veto

The United States on Thursday blocked the United Nations from granting full membership to a Palestinian state, using its veto power in the Security Council to deny the recommendation for admission.

The draft resolution, which would have suggested to the 193-member U.N. General Assembly the admission of “the State of Palestine” as a U.N. member, was vetoed by the U.S. The United Kingdom and Switzerland abstained, while the other 12 council members supported the resolution.

Deputy U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Robert Wood emphasized America’s support for a two-state solution. “This vote does not reflect opposition to Palestinian statehood but acknowledges that such status should arise from direct negotiations between the parties,” he said.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas decried the veto as “unfair, unethical, and unjustified.” Following the vote, an emotional Palestinian U.N. Ambassador Riyad Mansour vowed continued efforts toward membership. “This resolution’s failure will neither break our will nor defeat our determination. We will persist in our endeavor,” Mansour stated.

The move for U.N. membership coincided with ongoing hostilities between Israel and Hamas in Gaza and Israeli settlement expansions in the West Bank—territories the U.N. deems illegally occupied.

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz lauded the U.S. veto. Addressing the members who voted for the resolution, Israeli U.N. Ambassador Gilad Erdan remarked, “It’s very sad because your vote will only encourage further Palestinian rejectionism and render peace nearly unattainable.”