Security Council fails to adopt resolution on Israeli barrier

15 October 2003

The United States has vetoed a draft resolution before the Security Council that would have declared Israel’s building of a barrier, said to have taken in some Palestinian territory in the West Bank, illegal.

In a late night session Tuesday, 10 Council members voted in favour of the draft resolution, the United States voted against and four members – Bulgaria, Cameroon, Germany and United Kingdom – abstained. The draft resolution was sponsored by Guinea, Malaysia, Pakistan and Syria.

The resolution’s main operative paragraph would have the Council decide “that the construction by Israel, the occupying power, of a wall in the Occupied Territories departing from the armistice line of 1949 is illegal under relevant provisions of international law and must be ceased and reversed.”

Explaining his veto after the vote, Security Council President John Negroponte, speaking in his national capacity as the United States representative, said the resolution was unbalanced and failed to address terrorism and the security problems that Israel had faced for years.

All resolutions on the Middle East should include that kind of balance, he said.


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