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UN Security Council members condemn US decision on Jerusalem

At an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council, members states condemned the US' decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, warning that it sets backs years of peace efforts in the region and would lead to bloodshed. 

Notably criticism also came from traditional US allies, the UK, France, Japan, Sweden and Italy. 

The British ambassador to the UN, Matthew Rycroft said the US decision was "unhelpful to peace", whilst his Swedish counterpart said it "contradicts international law and Security Council resolutions". 

The UN's special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, Nickolay Mladenov said, "the United Nations has repeatedly declared that any unilateral decision that seeks to alter the character and status of Jerusalem or that may alter these long-standing principles could seriously undermine current peace efforts and may have repercussions across the region."

Palestine's ambassador called on the US to reconsider its position. 

"The status of Jerusalem cannot be unilaterally altered or determined by any state and this decision by the US should be reconsidered and rescinded," Riyad Mansour said. 

The US ambassador, Nikki Haley however rebuffed criticism arguing instead the UN was biased against Israel. 

"Over many years the United Nations has outrageously been one of the world's foremost centres of hostility towards Israel. The UN has done much more damage to the prospects of Middle East peace than to advance them," she said. 

"We remain committed to achieving a lasting peace agreement. We support a two-state solution if agreed to by the parties," added Ms Haley. 

The emergency meeting took place on Friday as protests continued across the West Bank, Gaza, Bethleham and Ramallah.

Two Palestinian protesters were killed by Israeli fire at protests in Gaza.