Palestinian Presidency Calls US Veto a Mockery of the International Community

British PM Theresa May and US President Donald Trump
British PM Theresa May and US President Donald Trump

19 December, 2017

The United States has vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution against recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital city.

The draft, written by Egypt, said any decisions on the status of Jerusalem "have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded".

The 14 other countries on the Security Council voted in favor, but US Ambassador Nikki Haley exercised the American veto.

In an effort to keep Washington from exercising its veto power, the text did not mention the U.S. by name, saying instead it "deeply regrets recent decisions regarding the status of Jerusalem".

Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon addresses the UN Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including Palestine, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, US, December 8, 2017.

"The fact that this veto is being done in defence of American sovereignty and in defence of America's role in the Middle East peace process is not a source of embarrassment for us; it should be an embarrassment to the remainder of the Security Council", Haley said. She described the vote as an "insult" that "won't be forgotten".

Presidential spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeina denounced the USA veto, calling it a mockery of the global community and a concession to Israeli occupation and aggression.

US President Donald Trump revealed his new strategic plan noting that for many generations, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been interpreted as the main factor preventing peace in the region.

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Britain's Permanent Representative Matthew Ryrcroft reflected the views of the other members when he said the U.S. decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital had no legal affect and his country disagreed with it.

Prior to the Jerusalem decision, a fracture emerged last month when Trump threatened to close the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Washington office. This has infuriated the Palestinians and other Muslims across the world.

The vetoed resolution would have demanded that all countries comply with 10 resolutions on Jerusalem, dating back to 1967, including requirements that the city's final status be decided in direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. The settlements are in contravention of the worldwide laws, including the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, which prohibits countries from moving population into territories occupied in a war.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas the US should no longer be involved in brokering a Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement.

Along with the UK, France, Russia, and China, the United States is a permanent member of the UN Security Council, with the power to block any resolution from passing with the use of a veto.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, for his part, strongly attacked the United States and accused it of supporting Zionist work in Palestine since its inception.

In Netanyahu's words, "One defeated the many, truth defeated lies".

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