US Blocks UN Bid To Recognize Palestinian State

The United States vetoed a United Nations resolution on Thursday that aimed to admit Palestine as a member state. The U.S. was the only member in opposition, standing by the position that direct negotiations are the only legitimate path to Palestinian statehood.

The resolution proposed that the General Assembly, which consists of 193 members and has no veto power, approve Palestine as the 194th member of the United Nations. This came after the Palestinian Authority launched an intensified bid for statehood recognition earlier this month amid escalating conflict in the region.

U.S. Deputy Ambassador Robert Wood emphasized that the veto was not an opposition to Palestinian statehood per se but a recognition that statehood should emerge from direct negotiations. “The United States has been very clear consistently that premature actions in New York — even with the best intentions — will not achieve statehood for the Palestinian people,” Wood said.

State Department spokesperson Vedant Patel said that the significant unresolved questions around how to govern the Gaza Strip make discussion of formal recognition of a Palestinian state premature. “And for that reason, the United States is voting no on this proposed Security Council resolution,” Patel said.

Israel strongly opposed the proposal. Gilad Erdan, Israel’s Ambassador, argued that the resolution was “disconnected from the reality on the ground.”

On the Palestinian side, U.N. Ambassador Riyad Mansour expressed a resilient determination to continue pursuing statehood, highlighting the global support for the Palestinian cause. “The state of Palestine is inevitable. It is real. Perhaps they see it as far away, but we see it as near,” Mansour declared after the vote.

The U.S. veto is part of a broader strategy to encourage reform within the Palestinian Authority and to foster conditions for eventual direct negotiations with Israel. The U.S. decision to veto the U.N. resolution has significant strategic implications for the region and America’s role. It also reaffirms the U.S. commitment to a solution based on some agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority rather than a top-down solution imposed by the U.N.