US Vetoes UN Resolution To Recognize Gaza As Independent State

The United States was the lone veto that struck down a United Nations (UN) resolution on Thursday. The resolution sought to recognize Gaza as an independent state separate from Israel.

The Washington Examiner reported that the 15-member Security Council voted on the measure. It would have recommended that the 193-member General Assembly recognize Gaza as a state and grant it U.N. membership. In the vote 12 nations were in favor two abstained and the U.S. alone voted against it.

State Department spokesman Vedant Patel addressed the vote in a news briefing. “It remains the U.S. view that the most expeditious path toward 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,” Patel said. He pointed out that a U.N. resolution would not solve the problem.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres emphasized the importance of finding lasting peace. “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,” Guterres said. “Failure to make progress toward a two-state solution will only increase volatility and risk for hundreds of millions of people across the region who will continue to live under the constant threat of violence.”

For a resolution to pass the U.N. Security Council nine members must vote in favor. A resolution will also be struck down if any one of the five permanent members of the Council vote against it. The other permanent members besides the U.S. are the United Kingdom France Russia and China.

Since 2012 the U.N. has considered Gaza to be a non-member observer state. If the resolution had passed the Security Council it would have needed the support of two-thirds of the General Assembly to take effect.