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US vetoes Palestinian bid for full UN membership | World News

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The US has blocked a Palestinian bid to be recognised as a full member state at the United Nations.

Twelve of the 15-member Security Council were in favour, Britain and Switzerland abstained, but America vetoed the motion.

The US said it still strongly supported a two-state solution, but its vote was “acknowledgment that it will only come from direct negotiations between the parties”.

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called it “unfair, unethical, and unjustified”.

However, Israel‘s foreign minister Israel Katz praised the US for blocking the move.

The draft resolution had recommended to the 193-member General Assembly that “the State of Palestine be admitted to membership”.

America’s UN envoy, Robert Wood, cited Hamas‘s continued control over Gaza as a key factor in blocking the motion.

The group is designated a terror group by many governments, including the US and UK.

Image:
A two-state solution is seen by many as the best chance for a lasting peace in the region. Pic: AP

The Palestinian Authority, based in the West Bank, is currently a non-member observer state at the UN – a position granted in 2012.

Its bid for full membership must be passed by the Security Council and at least two-thirds of the General Assembly.

Palestinians want a state in the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza Strip; all territory taken by Israel in 1967.

The UN has long advocated for a plan that would see a Palestinian state with secure and agreed borders created next to Israel.

Many see it as the best chance to end the decades of violence that preceded the current Israel-Hamas war.

However, hardliners in Israel’s right-wing government reject the idea of a Palestinian state.

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Read more:
What is the two-state solution for Israel and Palestinians?

Analysis: US won’t approve UN membership – here’s why

UN vote ‘disconnected to reality’

Gilad Erdan, Israel’s UN ambassador, told the meeting in New York the resolution was “disconnected to the reality on the ground” and would “cause only destruction for years to come and harm any chance for future dialogue”.

However, Mr Abbas’s representative said it would give people hope “for a decent life within an independent state”.

Ziad Abu Amr said UN membership was “an important pillar to achieve peace in our region”.

He said the long-running conflict “goes beyond the borders of Palestine and Israel and impacts other regions in the Middle East and around the world”.

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Comparing Israel and Iran’s weapons

Nearly 34,000 people have been killed in the six-month-long war in Gaza, according to Hamas-run health authorities, with no sign of an imminent ceasefire despite increasing international pressure.

Israel says around 1,200 people were killed in the Hamas attack that sparked the war, while more than 100 hostages are still believed to be in Gaza.



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