U.S. Vetoes Security Council Resolution Declaring Israeli Settlements Illegal

The 15-nation U.N. Security Council will vote at a meeting Friday afternoon on the proposed Palestinian resolution declaring Israeli settlements in the West Bank illegal, according to a diplomat on the council.

U.S. Vetoes Security Council Resolution Declaring Israeli Settlements Illegal

The 15-nation U.N. Security Council will vote at a meeting Friday afternoon on the proposed Palestinian resolution declaring Israeli settlements in the West Bank illegal, according to a diplomat on the council.

The diplomat, who is not authorized to talk about the issue, said the vote will occur at a meeting scheduled for 3 p.m. ET.

Palestinians reportedly rebuffed Obama administration efforts to not pursue a resolution and accept a milder statement from the council. Among the options that had been floated, American and Palestinian officials said, was the issuance of a Security Council presidential statement, which is weaker than an actual resolution.

The Obama administration has been critical of Israeli settlement construction in the past, but has not gone as far as to call it "illegal."

The United States is expected to either veto the resolution or abstain from voting.

White House spokesman Jay Carney declined to say Thursday whether the administration would wield its veto power, but he said that the United States does "not accept the legitimacy of continued settlement activity" and that it is "corrosive not only to peace efforts and a two-state solution, but to Israel's future itself."

Since the breakdown of American-brokered talks with Israel in September over the issue of settlements, the Palestinian Authority has been pursuing a policy aimed at unilaterally declaring a Palestinian state by September based on borders from 1967 and in recent months has won recognition from a number of South American countries.

The United States and Israel oppose the unilateral efforts, insisting that all issues in the conflict must be dealt with through direct negotiations.

CNN