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US vetoes UN resolution supporting full membership for Palestine

The United States has once again used its veto power in support of Israel after it vetoed a widely supported draft resolution that would have granted the state of Palestine full UN membership. 

Speaking to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) ahead of the vote, Ziad Abu Amr, UN special representative of the observer State of Palestine, emphasized that making Palestine a full member would be an "important pillar in achieving peace in the region.”

Palestinians currently hold non-member observer status, granted by the UN General Assembly in 2012. An application to become a full member with voting rights would have to be approved by two-thirds of the General Assembly and the UNSC. 

Of the 15-member UNSC, 12 were in favor of the resolution. The US opposed, and the UK and Switzerland both abstained.  

From the 193-member General Assembly, about 140 countries recognize the state of Palestine. 

US Deputy Ambassador, Robert Wood, said that Palestinian membership "needs to be the outcome of the negotiation between Israel and the Palestinians."

Wood added anything that gets in between these negotiations makes it more difficult to achieve a two-state solution. 

For many years, negotiations between Israel and Palestine have been stalled with several in Israel's right-wing government opposing Palestinian statehood. 

Ziad Abu Amr says that "hope has dissipated over the past years because of the intransigence of the Israeli government that has rejected this solution publicly and blatantly, especially following the destructive war against the Gaza Strip."

He continued to explain that adopting the resolution would have granted Palestinians hope "for a decent life within an independent state."

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