The US has vetoed the Egyptian-drafted resolution that called for rescinding any change in Jerusalem’s current status. The resolution was drafted after US President Donald Trump’s recognition of the city as Israel’s capital. Before the vote, the Palestinians threatened to appeal to the UN General Assembly, where the US has no veto power, if the US vetoes the resolution.

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The UN Security Council convened on Monday to discuss the Egyptian draft resolution asserting that any country’s decision to change Jerusalem’s current status quo will be rescinded. Fourteen UNSC member states voted in favor of the resolution but the United States vetoed it. The last time that the US used its veto power before today in the UNSC was in February 2011.

Before the vote, the Palestinian envoy to the UN Riyad Mansour announced that if the US vetoes the resolution, the Palestinians will appeal to the UN General Assembly, where Washington has no veto power. As previously reported by JOL, the draft resolution calls for all states to avoid sending diplomatic missions to Jerusalem and refrain from recognizing any measures going against UN resolutions concerning the city.

The Israeli flag and the American flag on a wall in Jerusalem's Old City

The Israeli flag and the American flag on a wall in Jerusalem’s Old City Photo Credit: Reuters/Israel News Company

“If the United Nations’ history in the peace efforts proves anything, it is that talking in New York cannot take the place of face-to-face negotiations between the regional parties,” said the US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley during today’s session. “It only sets back the cause of peace, not advance it.”

Nikki Haley and Danny Danon

Nikki Haley and Danny Danon Photo Credit: Shahar Azran/Israel News Company

“Resolution 2334 demanded a halt to all Israeli settlement activity in East Jerusalem – even in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City. This is something that no responsible person or country would ever expect Israel would do,” Haley added. “And in this way, Resolution 2334 did what President Trump’s announcement on Jerusalem as the capital of Israel did not do: It prejudged issues that should be left in final status negotiations.”

Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon harshly criticized the draft resolution and thanked the US for standing by Israel. “Members of the Security Council can vote another hundred times to criticize our presence in Jerusalem, but history won’t change,” said Danon. “While the Jewish people celebrate the holiday of Hanukkah that symbolizes the eternal connection to Jerusalem, there are people who think that they can rewrite history. It’s time for all countries to recognize that Jerusalem always was and always will be the capital of the Jewish people and the capital of Israel.”

“From now on, we are opposed to the United States being a mediator or a partner in the peace process,” Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas said during the hearing from Ramallah. “We are determined to go once more and even several times more to the UN to receive the status of full membership in the organization.”