Deputy PM criticizes USA for veto on United Nations resolution condemning Jerusalem decision

The Muslim mayor of the Israeli city of Nazareth has now said that Christmas celebrations will be permitted following reports that they would be cancelled due to U.S. President Donald Trump's decision on Jerusalem

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the character, status or demographic composition" of Jerusalem "have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded".

Both before and after the voting, many countries, including key US allies Britain, France, Italy, Japan and Qatar, expressed their disagreement with the United States, insisting that Jerusalem should be a shared capital of Israelis and Palestinians.

The draft resolution was circulated among UN Security Council members last week.

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley called the Security Council resolution "an insult" that won't be forgotten, saying the United Nations forced the U.S.to cast a veto simply because of its right to decide where to put its embassy.

"We do it with no joy, but we do it with no reluctance", she told the council. "The worldwide community must work now to protect the Palestinian people".

"Our view is that the issue of Jerusalem is a final status issue, that Jerusalem should be a shared capitol for Israelis and for Palestinians, and the UK Embassy, for now, will remain in Tel Aviv".

The Palestinian Authority on Monday slammed the United States for its veto, calling it "against the worldwide consensus".

US Vice President Mike Pence will visit Jerusalem on Wednesday, wading into the crisis over one of the most controversial issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Pence's trip to Egypt and Israel was pushed back to mid-January to allow the US vice president to remain in Washington during a vote on Trump's tax bill, a White House official said.

In his opening remarks to the Palestinian leadership meeting Monday evening, President Mahmoud Abbas said Palestinians will return to the United Nations to seek full membership for Palestine, while announcing a series of countermeasures against the US move.

He stressed that this veto would lead to further isolation of the United States and was a provocation of the global community. East Jerusalem, which Palestinians are seeking as the capital of their state, was occupied by Israel in 1967.

Resolutions presented to the council require nine votes for adoption, but the United States-along with Britain, China, France and Russia-have the power to veto any measure.

Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Riad Malki said the Palestinian Authority will resort to the UN General Assembly with a new draft resolution against the USA move.

"We also call on all political leaders to encourage everyone to refrain from violence; it is only in a peaceful situation that the chances of peace will be maximised", he said.

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