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US Rejects Palestinian Statehood Resolution at UN

Samantha Power, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, far right, votes during a meeting of the U.N. Security Council, Dec. 30, 2014.

The United States has vetoed a United Nations Security Council draft resolution on Palestinian statehood that demanded Israel withdraw from the occupied territories.

Even without the U.S. veto, the measure would have fallen one vote short of the nine it needed among the council's 15 members in order to pass.

The U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power explained the veto, saying Israeli-Palestinian peace can only come from "hard choices and compromises" and that the resolution would not move the sides closer to a two-state solution.

"We voted against this resolution not because we are indifferent to the daily hardships or the security threats endured by Palestinians and Israelis. But because we know that those hardships will not cease and those threats will not subside until the parties reach a comprehensive settlement achieved through negotiations,” said Power.

Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian representative at the U.N., criticized the council and accused it of not fulfilling its responsibilities.

"The Security Council has once again failed to uphold its charter duties to address these crises and to meaningfully contribute to a peaceful and lasting solution in accordance with its own resolutions," said Mansour.

The draft would have given Israel a 2017 deadline to pull out of the West Bank and Gaza, back to borders that existed before the 1967 war. East Jerusalem would have been the new Palestinian capital.

The draft also would have given Israel and the Palestinians one year to reach a peace agreement.

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