The United States used its veto power this Thursday, April 18, 2024, in a vote in the Security Council on the Palestinians’ request to join the United Nations as a full State, a possibility that Israel rejects.

The draft resolution presented by Algeria and which recommended to the General Assembly “that the State of Palestine be admitted as a member of the United Nations” obtained 12 votes in favor, one against and two abstentions.
The Palestinian Authority protested the veto. “This aggressive US policy towards Palestine, its people and their legitimate rights represents a flagrant attack on international law and an incitement to continue the genocidal war against our people.“declared the office of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

This rejection “will not break our will, it will not stop our determination. We will not stop our efforts. The State of Palestine is inevitable, it is real,” concluded the Palestinian ambassador to the UN, Riyad Mansour, in a speech that caused tears in the hall of the Advice.

The vote came after more than six months of Israeli military offensive in the Gaza Strip, in retaliation for the deadly attack carried out on October 7 by the Islamist group Hamas in southern Israel.

Hamas condemns the US veto… and assures the world that our people will continue their struggle until the establishment… of an independent and fully sovereign Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital“said the movement in a statement.

For several weeks now, the Palestinians, who have had the minor status of “non-member observer state” since 2012, and the Arab countries have been insisting that the Security Council accept that a “Palestinian State” would occupy its “rightful” place in the United Nations. United.

Despite the American veto, the “overwhelming” support of the members of the Council “sends a very clear message: the State of Palestine deserves its place” in the UN, considered the Algerian ambassador, Amar Bendjama, promising on behalf of the Arab Group to return to submit the petition later.

Frustrated request

For a State to become a full member of the UN, the initiative must first be recommended by the Security Council with at least nine votes in favor, out of a total of 15, and no veto. It then requires the support of a two-thirds majority of the General Assembly.

The United States, which has the power to veto proposals as a permanent member of the Council, has repeatedly stated that its position has not changed since 2011, when another accession request presented by Abbas failed in the face of American opposition.

This vote (against) does not reflect opposition to a Palestinian state, but rather is a recognition that it can only come about through direct negotiations between the parties.“explained the US deputy ambassador, Robert Wood.

Washington has reiterated over the years that the UN is not the place to recognize a Palestinian state, but that this must result from an agreement between the Palestinians and Israel.

He also points out that US legislation would force them to cut off their funding to the UN in the event of Palestinian accession without such a bilateral agreement.

The last time a state was vetoed into the UN was in 1976, when the Americans blocked Vietnam’s accession.

The rejection of the initiative did not satisfy Israel either, as its ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, denounced the countries that had supported it and criticized the study of the request.

Talking to this Council is like talking to a wall” he said, arguing that voices in favor would encourage the Palestinians not to return to the negotiating table and “would make peace almost impossible.”

“On the edge of the precipice”

Against this backdrop, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres painted a grim picture of the situation in the Middle East, which, he said, “is on the brink of a precipice.”

“In recent days there has been a dangerous escalation of words and actions,” he considered, reiterating his condemnation of Iran’s unprecedented attack against Israel last weekend.

It is time to end the bloody cycle of retaliation“, he asked, “starting with Gaza.”

The war in the besieged Palestinian territory was triggered by an attack on Israel on October 7 by Hamas commandos, which killed 1,170 people, most of them civilians, according to an AFP count based on official Israeli data.

Israel’s retaliatory offensive in Gaza has killed 33,970 people, mostly civilians, according to Hamas’ Health Ministry.


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