HomeWorldMalta expresses disappointment at veto on Palestine, Israel calls UN ‘rotten’

Malta expresses disappointment at veto on Palestine, Israel calls UN ‘rotten’

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Malta has expressed its disappointment at the use of veto inside the United Nations Security Council, blocking Palestine’s bid for full membership of the UN.

Malta’s permanent representation made its statement to the General Assembly, which discussed the US veto of a draft resolution by Algeria that recommended that the General Assembly hold a vote to allow Palestine full UN membership. Malta voted in favour.

Palestine is a ‘Permanent Observer State” at the UN, meaning that it can participate in all UN proceedings, except for voting on draft resolutions and decisions in its main organs and bodies.

“We express our regret that the veto has hindered the UNSC from reaching agreement,” the Maltese representative told the Assembly. “Malta supports Palestine’s full membership… only through the realisation of the two-state solution can there be peaceful coexistence between Israel and Palestine, as well as for the broader Middle East.”

Malta once again called for an immediate and permanent ceasefire to the Israeli campaign that has killed over 34,000 in the Gaza Strip. The merciless attack comes in the wake of the October 7 attacks by terror group Hamas, which took as hostages revellers at a music festival in the south of Israel and who remain kidnapped 200 days since the attacks.

Malta also said any ground invasion by Israel would be “utterly unjustifiable” and called both sides to abide by their international legal and humanitarian obligations.

US Deputy Representative Robert Wood said that as a permanent member of the Security Council, the United States wanted the Palestinian Authority to undertake necessary reforms, noting that “Hamas, a terrorist organization is currently exerting power and influence in Gaza, an integral part of the State envisioned in this resolution”.

He said that while Washington continues to strongly support a two-State solution between Israelis and Palestinians, the vote “does not reflect opposition to Palestinian statehood, but instead is an acknowledgment that it will only come from direct negotiations between the parties.” 

The Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine, Riyad Mansour, said he stood before the General Assembly “as the massacres against the Palestinian people continue unabated”.

He said an immediate ceasefire – long called for by the Assembly and demanded by the Security Council – is indispensable and cannot be delayed any further. 

Stating that Palestine’s membership in the UN is “long overdue”, he said “we will never accept that the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination, to statehood and admission to the UN, could be in any way subject to an Israeli veto.” 

Palestine will now bring the matter for consideration by the General Assembly at the resumed 10th emergency special session and urged the Security Council to reconsider its application for admission. 

Israeli Ambassador Gilad Erdan said “nothing exemplifies the UN’s rotten values more than the advancement of a Palestinian statehood.” 

Erdan stated that there has never been condemnation of Hamas, or a single UN initiative taken for the sake of the Israeli hostages, adding “instead this body has focused only on recognising a Palestinian terror state.”

He said the Palestinian Authority does not meet the criteria for statehood, and not one Palestinian leader has condemned Hamas. 

Granting Palestine full UN membership would only have two “destructive results”, he said – furthering terrorism and sending a clear message to the Palestinians that they never have to sit at the negotiating table, let alone make compromises. 

“These UN sessions will be remembered in the future as one of the primary obstacles to resolving the conflict. Remember my words. The UN today is the main impediment to peace,” he said.

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