The United States on Monday vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for the U.S. to rescind its recent decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The other 14 members of the Security Council voted to approve the Egyptian-drafted resolution.
The resolution did not mention the United States by name, but targeted the Trump administration’s Dec. 6 decision to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel, by affirming “that any decisions and actions which purport to have altered the character, status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded in compliance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council.”
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, called the vote at the Security Council “an insult” that “won’t be forgotten,” according to Reuters. Her dissenting vote marked the first time in six years the U.S. used its veto power. The last instance was in 2011 when the Obama administration struck down a resolution that would have condemned Israeli settlement construction.
Anticipating a U.S. veto, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), announced days previously that the group plans to try and get the resolution taken to the General Assembly, in an attempt to bypass the U.S. veto through the “Uniting for Peace” mechanism in the UN, which was created to deal with stalemates in the Security Council.
The OIC met last week to discuss the plan at the request of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. At that meeting, the 57 member states announced that the OIC would recognize East Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Palestine.
In addition, Erdogan on Sunday expressed his wish to move the Turkish embassy to East Jerusalem. However, that move is unlikely given Israel’s occupation of the city.
Ahead of the vote on Monday, Reuters reported that UN Middle East peace envoy Nickolay Mladenov told the council that “in the wake of the decision of the United States … the situation has become more tense with an increase in incidents, notably rockets fired from Gaza and clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces.”
At least ten Palestinians have been killed in the twelve days since a wave of upheaval in the occupied Palestinian territory was sparked by Trump’s decision, with more than 300 Palestinians newly detained in Israeli prisons and 3,000 more injured in violence at the hands of Israeli forces attempting to suppress protests through clashes and night raids.
Outside of the Israeli government, the U.S. has no ally in its decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, with the international community widely condemning the U.S.’s move.