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US vetoes Palestinian attempt to gain statehood at the United Nations

The United States on Thursday blocked a United Nations Security Council resolution that would have recognised a Palestinian state.

Twelve members of the Security Council had voted in favor of the resolution, while two countries – the UK and Switzerland – abstained. The US vetoed it.

The Palestinian Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas, sharply criticized the US veto, saying in a statement that it was “unfair, immoral, and unjustified, and defies the will of the international community, which strongly supports the State of Palestine obtaining full membership in the United Nations.”

Israel’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz praised the US for vetoing what he called a “shameful proposal.”

“The proposal to recognize a Palestinian state, more than 6 months after the largest massacre of Jews since the Holocaust and after the sexual crimes and other atrocities committed by Hamas terrorists was a reward for terrorism”, Katz wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, after the US veto.

The Palestinian efforts to gain recognition as a member state of the UN came six months after Hamas – the militant group that controls the Gaza Strip – launched an unprecedented attack on Israel, killing more than 1,200 Israelis and taking more than 240 hostages. Israel responded to the atrocities of October 7 last year with an assault that has has killed nearly 34,000 people in Gaza, according to authorities there.

US State Department deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel had announced earlier Thursday that the US would vote against the Security Council resolution, saying that the US has “been very clear, consistently, that premature actions in New York, even with the best intentions, will not achieve statehood for the Palestinian people,” referring to the headquarters of the United Nations.

He also noted there was no unanimity as to whether the Palestinians met the criteria for membership as a state in the UN, saying the US believes future statehood should be dependent on negotiations between Israel and representatives of the Palestinians. “The most expeditious path towards statehood for the Palestinian people is through direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority with the support of the United States and other partners who share this goal,” Patel said.

Palestinian attempts for recognition as a full member state began in 2011. They are currently a non-member observer state, a status that was granted in November 2012.

At the time, UN Ambassador of the Palestinian Territories Riyad Mansour called the step a “historic moment,” adding that he hoped “the Security Council will elevate itself to implanting the global consensus on the two-state solution by admitting the state of Palestine for full membership.”

Israel’s UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan condemned Friday’s move as consideration of a “Palestinian terror state.”

“This won’t be a regular state. It will be a Palestine-Nazi state, an entity that achieved statehood despite being committed to terror and Israel’s annihilation,” Erdan added.

This story has been updated with additional developments.

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