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Palestinian authority hits out at US veto of UN membership

THE Palestinian Authority has accused the United States of “blatant aggression” against peace in the Middle East after it vetoed a draft United Nations security council resolution calling for Palestine to become a full member of the world body.

Twelve countries voted in favour, while Britain and Switzerland abstained.

The Palestinian Authority has had observer status since 2012 but cannot vote in UN proceedings.

The office of President Mahmoud Abbas, who heads the authority governing the Israeli-occupied West Bank, branded the US veto “unfair, unethical and unjustified” and said it was “blatant aggression … which pushes the region ever further to the edge of the abyss.”

Palestinian UN ambassador Riyad Mansour said: “The fact that this resolution did not pass will not break our will and it will not defeat our determination. The state of Palestine is inevitable. It is real.

“Please remember that, once this session adjourns, in Palestine, there are innocents paying the price with their lives … for the delay in justice, freedom and peace.”

Mr Mansour insisted that his people had a “natural right” to self-determination, adding: “The people of Palestine will not disappear.

“The people of Palestine will not be buried. They are a history that cannot be erased, no matter the great power, no matter the tyranny.”

US deputy ambassador Robert Wood claimed that Washington’s support for a two-state solution remained strong, but that any change in the status of Palestine at the UN should come only as part of a negotiated settlement with Israel.

US officials have said they raised concerns with Israel about its plans for military operations in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, where over a million people have taken refuge from attacks by Israeli forces elsewhere in the coastal strip.

The US, Israel’s closest ally, said that representatives of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had “agreed to take these concerns into account.”


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