US Vetoes Resolution on Trump’s Jerusalem Decision

United Nations Security Council meeting in New York. (Photo: Anadolu Agency, file)

The United States has vetoed a UN Security Council draft resolution rejecting the recent recognition by US President Donald Trump of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and his plans to move the American embassy to the city.

The US veto on Monday was widely expected. “What is troublesome to some people […] is that the United States had the courage and honesty to recognize a fundamental reality,” Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, said.

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

Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian Ambassador to the UN, said: “It is paradoxical that while we were waiting for a peace plan from the US, the administration instead decided to further obstruct peace and delay its realization.”

The Egyptian-drafted text reiterated the UN position on Jerusalem, affirming “that any decisions and actions which purport to have altered, the character, status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded in compliance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council”.

In an effort to keep the US from exercising its veto power, the text did not mention the United States by name, saying instead it “deeply regrets recent decisions regarding the status of Jerusalem”.

The vote comes less than two weeks after Trump’s controversial speech, which reversed decades of US policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Trump’s declaration unleashed widespread anger and rallies within Palestine and in major cities across the world.

Since the decision, nine Palestinians have been killed and more than 1,900 injured in protests in the occupied territories of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.

Anticipating the US veto, the Palestinian leadership in the West Bank promised to take the issue to the UN General Assembly to seek the passing of a resolution there.

Turkey, a long-time ally of Palestine, is also leading efforts to pass a resolution through the UN’s General Assembly.

A vote in favor of the resolution in the 193-member UN General Assembly, however, is not legally binding. This means it would only serve as a recommendation and would act as an expression of the international community’s stance on Jerusalem.

In a meeting during the UN Security Council session, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), an umbrella of Palestinian political parties, announced it would no longer accept the US as a partner in the peace process.

Abbas also promised to seek full membership for Palestine at the UN, despite a previous failed push to do so in 2011.

As of now, Palestine has “non-member observer state” meaning that it has the right to speak but not vote on resolutions.

(Al Jazeera, PC, Social Media)

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