US vetoes Palestinian bid for full UN membership

The United Nations Security Council has rejected a draft resolution recommending full Palestinian membership of the global body due to a veto by the United States.

The 15 council members took a vote on Thursday. Twelve countries, including Japan and France, voted in favor of the resolution, while Britain and Switzerland abstained.

Algeria submitted the draft representing Arab nations' backing for the Palestinians amid the ongoing conflict in the Gaza Strip.

The resolution calls for full membership for the Palestinians, saying a two-state solution in which Israel coexists with a future Palestinian state should be sought.
The Palestinians currently have non-member observer status.

For granting membership, the Security Council needs to approve a motion, and two-thirds or more of the general assembly must vote in favor.

Japan's Special Envoy for the Middle East Peace, Uemura Tsukasa, said Japan voted in favor in consideration of the severe situation in Gaza. He said his country's stance is to promote the establishment of a Palestinian state through peaceful negotiations between the parties.

US Deputy Ambassador to the UN Robert Wood explained why the US vetoed the move. He said, "Hamas, a terrorist organization, is currently exerting power and influence in Gaza -- an integral part of the state envisioned in this resolution." He stressed the necessity of direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.