U.S. blocks Palestinian request for full UN membership

U.S. blocks Palestinian request for full UN membership

The United States has voted against a Palestinian request for full United Nations membership, blocking the world body from effectively recognizing a Palestinian state.

Move prevents the world body from effectively recognizing a Palestinian state

U.S. vetoes Palestinian request for full UN membership

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The United States has used its position as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council to veto a Palestinian request for full membership into the United Nations. The final tally of the vote was 12 in favour, two abstentions and one against.

The United States on Thursday effectively stopped the United Nations from recognizing a Palestinian state by casting a veto in the Security Council to deny the Palestinian Authority full membership of the world body.

The United States says an independent Palestinian state should be established through direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and not through UN action.

It vetoed a draft resolution that recommended to the 193-member UN General Assembly that "the state of Palestine be admitted to membership of the United Nations." Britain and Switzerland abstained,while the remaining 12 council members voted in favour.

The office of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said in a statement Thursday the U.S. veto was "unfair, unethical and unjustified."

The Palestinians are currently a non-member observer state, a de facto recognition of statehood that was granted by the UN General Assembly in 2012. But an application to become a full UN member needs to be approved by the Security Council and then at least two-thirds of the General Assembly.

The Palestinian push for full membership comes six months into a war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza and as Israel is expanding settlements in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

"Recent escalations make it even more important to support good-faith efforts to find lasting peace between Israel and a fully independent, viable and sovereign Palestinian state," UN