United States vetoes UN resolution to grant Palestine full membership

Robert Wood, the deputy U.S. ambassador to the UN, said that the veto does not reflect the U.S’s position on Palestine becoming a state, but rather that the statehood must come from negotiations.
United nations

The United States blocked Palestine's latest effort to become a full member of the United Nations on Thursday, using its veto power during a meeting of the United Nations Security Council.

Palestine has applied to become a full member of the UN on two separate occasions, with the first attempt failing in 2011. Palestine is currently a non-member observer state, a status it obtained in November 2012, per CNN.

The Thursday vote saw 12 of the 15 countries on the panel support the application. The United Kingdom and Switzerland abstained. A resolution needs nine votes to pass absent any vetoes, according to the Associated Press.

The Middle Eastern territory has seen a broad increase in support recently, with more than 140 countries in the UN recognizing its statehood amid its conflict with Israel. 

“The fact that this resolution did not pass will not break our will and it will not defeat our determination,”  Palestinian U.N. Ambassador Riyad Mansour said after the vote. “We will not stop in our effort. The state of Palestine is inevitable. It is real. Perhaps they see it as far away, but we see it as near.”

Robert Wood, the deputy U.S. ambassador to the UN, said the veto does not reflect the U.S. position on Palestinian statehood, but rather its belief that such status must come from negotiations. 

“The United States is committed to intensifying its engagement with the Palestinians and the rest of the region, not only to address the current crisis in Gaza, but to advance a political settlement that will create a path to Palestinian statehood and membership in the United Nations,” he said.

Wood further highlighted lingering concerns about whether Palestine met the criteria for statehood.