US vetoes UN resolution for withdrawal of Trump's Jerusalem announcement
As expected, the US has vetoed a UN Security Council Resolution calling for a withdrawal of US President Donald Trump's recent announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital. 14 out of 15 UNSC members voted in favor of the resolution sponsored by Egypt. After the vote, US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley termed the resolution "an insult." Here's more on what happened.
Trump delivers on Israel promise, recognizes Jerusalem as capital
On December 7, Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in a bold and unprecedented step that reversed decades of official US policy. Trump termed the move "a long overdue step to advance the middle-east peace process." The status of Jerusalem is central to Israel-Palestine conflict. Israel lauded the announcement while several world leaders criticized it.
Israel-Palestine tensions escalate after Trump's announcement
"In the wake of the US decision ... the situation has become more tense with an increase in incidents, notably rockets fired from Gaza and clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces," U.N. Middle East peace envoy Nickolay Mladenov warned UNSC ahead of the vote.
What did the resolution state?
The one-page draft resolution expressed "deep regret" on recent developments concerning the status of Jerusalem. It added that the developments which may have altered Jerusalem's composition and status are "null and void" and called for Trump's announcement to be annulled in accordance with past UNSC resolutions on Jerusalem. It also urged countries to refrain from shifting their embassies to Jerusalem.
Haley hits back: We'll never forget this 'insult'
"What we witnessed here is an insult. It won't be forgotten," Haley stated after she exercised the first US veto in almost six years. She said that the veto was exercised "in defense of American sovereignty and of America's role in the middle-east peace process." "It isn't a source of embarrassment for us....but it should be for the remainder of the UNSC," she added.
US to move embassy to Jerusalem?
The US seems to stand by Trump's announcement despite international isolation and might not hesitate to shift its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. "The United States has a sovereign right to determine where and whether we establish an embassy," Haley stated during the session.
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki stated that his country may move to conduct an emergency special session of the UN General Assembly. These are conducted in situations where the UNSC fails to act and intends to recommend appropriate measures to members for collective action. Although the outcome of a special session is non-binding, it carries political weight.