US Blocks UN Motion To Recognise Palestine As A Member State

Britain and Switzerland abstained from casting their vote either for or against granting the state of Palestine full membership to the United Nations

US Blocks UN Motion To Recognise Palestine As A Member State

The United States, in an expected move, blocked a move to recognise Palestine as an independent, sovereign state at the United Nations on Thursday.

The US exercised its right of veto to block the move in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

The move was expected even though the US had decided not to block a resolution moved last month calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. The resolution has failed to impact Tel Aviv, which has continued to bombard Gaza.

Britain, another country with the power to veto resolutions at the UNSC, decided to abstain. The UK is blamed by many as the root cause of the conflict in the Middle East after it refused to grant an independent status to Palestine in 1947 and instead backed the creation of the independent state of Israel.

Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas's office called the US veto "a blatant aggression... which pushes the region ever further to the edge of the abyss."

"The fact that this resolution did not pass will not break our will, and it will not defeat our determination," Palestinian Ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour said.

"We will not stop in our effort. The state of Palestine is inevitable. It is real."

The US has long brokered talks between Israel and Palestine, pursuing a two-state solution. But talks have always come unstuck.

Washington maintains that the UN is not the venue for recognition of a Palestinian state and has linked any recognition of Palestine to a peace deal with Israel.

Palestine has held a non-member observer status, but the latest resolution would have granted it UN membership as a state.

Algeria's Ambassador Amar Bendjama, who introduced the draft, said that despite the resolution being defeated, the vote showed an "overwhelming" support for recognising Palestine, "sending a crystal clear message" that the Palestinians belong as a full member state and that their backers "will return stronger and more vocal."

Israel criticised the vote, with its Ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, expressing concern that so many "yes" votes to reward Palestine with statehood would "embolden" Palestinians to avoid the negotiating table and "make peace almost impossible.

"Speaking to this council is like speaking to a brick wall," he said.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has already warned that the situation in the Middle East is quite precarious, with Iran unprecedentedly retaliating to a strike on its consulate in Syria. The strike was believed to have been carried out by Israel, targetting a high-ranking member of Iran's Revolutionary Guard (IRGC). The strikes opened a new chapter of hostilities in the Middle East, where Israel had launched a brutal offensive on Gaza, which has lasted over six months as it retaliated to an unprecedented assault by resistance forces in Gaza.