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US ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice
US ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice
Image: Mary Altaffer/AP/Press Association Images

US vetoes UN resolution condemning Israeli settlements

The US ambassador to the United Nations said that the decision “should not be misunderstood to mean we support settlement activity.”
Feb 19th 2011, 1:24 PM 1,071 0

THE UNITED STATES has vetoed a UN draft resolution condemning the construction of Jewish settlements in Palestinian territories.

The other 14 members of the UN Security Council voted in favour of the draft resolution, however – as one of the five permanent members of the council – the US has the power to veto any action.

The decision has provoked the outrage of both the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) and Hamas, however the US ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said that the decision “should not be misunderstood to mean we support settlement activity.”

Rice said that the US believed that the Israeli settlements lacked legitimacy but that the draft “risks hardening the position of both sides”, and added that the best policy was for Israelis and Palestinians to engage in direct peace negotiations.

British ambassador Mark Lyall Grant condemned the construction of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, saying that they were “illegal under international law”, reports Reuters.

A total of 14 Security Council resolutions have been vetoed by one or more of the five permanent members since 2000: of those, 10 were US vetoes and nine of them related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Meanwhile, a senior official of the Palestine Liberation Organisation said that the group planned to bring a fresh bid before the UN General Assembly in September, reports AFP.

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Jennifer Wade

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