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Palestinian Authority to review relationship with Washington after UN veto

Photo: Angela Weiss Agence France-Presse U.S. Deputy Ambassador to the UN Robert Wood votes against a resolution authorizing Palestinian membership in the UN on April 18, 2024, during a meeting on the situation in the Middle East.

France Media Agency in Ramallah, in the Palestinian territories

Published yesterday at 7:34 p.m. Updated yesterday at 7:48 p.m.

  • Middle East

Mahmoud Abbas announced on Saturday that the Palestinian Authority would “reexamine its relationship” with Washington after the US veto that blocked Palestinian membership in the United Nations.

“The Palestinian leadership will review bilateral relations with the United States to ensure the preservation of the interests of our people, our cause and our rights,” President Abbas said in an interview with the Palestinian news agency Wafa.

However, it will be difficult for Mr. Abbas to turn his back on the United States as the Palestinian Authority needs American financial aid. Mr. Abbas, 88, is himself very weakened politically, and disputed among Palestinians who denounce his “helplessness” in the face of Israeli raids in the Gaza Strip and the rise in violence in the occupied West Bank.

The Palestinians, who since 2012 have had the lower status of “non-member observer state” at the UN, asked the Security Council to accept that a “Palestinian state”, already recognized by the majority of capitals, takes its “legitimate” place within the United Nations.

But the United States, which did everything to delay the vote, did not hesitate on Thursday to use its right of veto, which it regularly uses to protect its Israeli ally.< /p>

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The draft resolution presented by Algeria which recommended Palestinian membership received 12 votes for, 1 against and 2 abstentions (United Kingdom and Switzerland).

“The State of Palestine is inevitable, it is real,” Palestinian Ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour said in New York, in tears, after the vote.

“Unprecedented Anger”

The US veto has “sparked unprecedented anger among Palestinians and people in the region, potentially pushing the region towards greater instability, chaos and terrorism,” President Abbas warned on Saturday .

The Palestinian Authority will therefore “develop a new strategy” to assert its choices “independently and follow a Palestinian project rather than an American vision,” he continued. .

Hamas, in power in the Gaza Strip, also condemned the American veto, assuring that the Palestinian people would continue “their struggle until the establishment […] of an independent Palestinian state and fully sovereign with Jerusalem as its capital.”

The United States has repeatedly reiterated that its position “has not changed” since 2011, when Mahmoud Abbas' application for membership fizzled out before even reaching the Council stage.

Washington believes that a political solution cannot be imposed on the two States and that it must result from a negotiated process.

“This vote does not reflect opposition to a Palestinian state, but is a recognition that it can only arise from direct negotiations between the parties,” Deputy US Ambassador Robert Wood explained on Thursday.

American “Renunciation”

For its part, the ultra-conservative Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu, in disagreement with the United Nations which blames it for the heavy human toll of the war in the Gaza Strip, does not want to hear about this stage of a two-state solution.

The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Saturday evening the summoning of the ambassadors of the Security Council countries having voted in favor of this draft resolution.

“The ambassadors of France, Japan, South Korea, Malta, the Slovak Republic and Ecuador will be summoned tomorrow” and “a strong protest will be expressed to them,” the ministry said on its X account.

The majority of the 193 UN member states (137, according to the Palestinian Authority's count) have already unilaterally recognized a Palestinian state.

“While the world agrees on the application of international law and defends the rights of the Palestinians, the United States continues to support the occupation, refusing to force Israel to end its genocidal war” in Gaza, Mr. Abbas argued.

The United States has, in his view, “renounced all its commitments regarding the two-state solution and the search for peace in the region,” he said.

He finally criticized the United States, Israel's main donor, “for supplying Israel with weapons and financing that kill our children and destroy our homes.”

The war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip was sparked by the October 7 attack on Israeli soil by commandos of the armed Islamist movement, which resulted in the deaths of 1,170 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP report established using official Israeli data.

Israeli retaliatory operations in the Gaza Strip left 34,049 dead, mostly civilians, according to the Hamas Ministry of Health.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116