The United States has vetoed a UN resolution that would have condemned "illegal" settlements on the occupied Palestinian territories.
The US cast two vetoes in 2006 when the council tried to pass Arab-backed resolutions that demanded Israel end its military operations against the Gaza Strip.
The other four Council’s veto-wielding members — China, Russia, Britain and France — and the 10 elected members — Brazil, Bosnia, Colombia, Gabon, Germany, India, Lebanon, Nigeria, Portugal and South Africa — voted in favor of the resolution on Friday.
This reflects the wide support for the draft resolution which had about 130 co-sponsors, dpa reported.
The draft resolution had called for the UN Security Council to declare, "Israeli settlements established in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East al-Quds (Jerusalem), are illegal and constitute a major obstacle to the achievement of a just, lasting and comprehensive peace."
The draft said that Israel — "the occupying power" — should immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian land.
Both US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke to acting Palestinian Authority (PA) Chief Mahmoud Abbas at length on Thursday in an attempt to sway him, but Abbas rejected a compromise.
Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian envoy to the UN in New York, told reporters after the vote that the PA appreciated the "massive support from UN members for Palestinians’ right to see an end to the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories since 1967."
Palestinians argue that the settlement construction is aimed at preventing the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.
Israel occupied al-Quds and the West Bank in the 1967 war — a move not recognized by the international community and the United Nations.
The UN has repeatedly declared Israeli settlement buildings on Palestinian land as illegal.