The US has vetoed a UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution criticising President Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move its embassy to the city which is also claimed by Palestinians.
The draft resolution was initially circulated by Egypt, expressed deep regret at the recent decision and affirmed that "any decisions and actions which purport to have altered the character, status or demographic composition" of Jerusalem "have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded".
Key US allies Britain, France, Italy, Japan and Ukraine were among the 14 countries in the 15-member council that voted in favor of the measure put forward by Egypt. "It won't be forgotten", said the US' ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley highlighting that this was Washington's first use of the veto power in more than six years.
Explaining the negative vote (veto), US Permanent Representative Nikki Haley said it had been done to protect United States' sovereignty and its right to choose where to have its embassy.
"The United States will not be told by any country where we can put our embassy", she said.
Haley told the council "the United States has never been more committed to peace in the Middle East", and called accusations that the U.S.is setting back the prospect for peace "scandalous".
Palestinian Authority spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said the United States veto "represents a complete bias with the [Israeli] occupation and aggression", CNN reports.
But Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, in some of his sharpest rhetoric since Trump's announcement, reiterated in public comments to senior Palestinian officials Monday that he will no longer accept the U.S.as a Mideast mediator.More news: PM Modi hails sportspersons of Mizoram
Trump earlier this month said the USA recognized the U.S. as the capital of Israel and would begin work to move its embassy there from Tel Aviv.
Under a 1950 resolution, an emergency special session can be called for the General Assembly to consider a matter "with a view to making appropriate recommendations to members for collective measures" if the Security Council fails to act.
Although it was certain from the beginning that such a resolution would be blocked by the veto-wielding United States, the Arab world and its supporters had wanted to table a vote at the top United Nations body in order show the depth of global opposition for Trump's decision. This has infuriated the Palestinians and other Muslims across the world.
Israel seized control of the eastern part of the city in the 1967 Middle East war and sees all of Jerusalem as its undivided capital.
"The United States chooses to disregard global law and ignore the worldwide consensus", he charged.
This has infuriated the Palestinians and Arab countries, which have strongly protested against the USA move.
Briefing the Security Council ahead of the vote, Nickolay Mladenov, the United Nations special coordinator for Middle East peace, said escalations in violence in the region could not be divorced from unilateral actions that undermined the peace process.
In Netanyahu's words, "One defeated the many, truth defeated lies".