WH says it would veto UN resolution recognizing Palestinian state

Story highlights

  • "We've made that clear over and over," Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes said
  • Netanyahu said Israelis are worried about a UN resolution recognizing a Palestinian state

Washington (CNN)The Obama administration would veto any UN resolution that dictated a peace solution or recognized a Palestinian state, Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes said Wednesday.

Rhodes was speaking hours after Secretary of State John Kerry strongly criticized Israel's decision to build settlements in the West Bank, saying it was ruining the prospect of a Palestinian state.
"So just to be clear here, when (Kerry) says, 'These are not the choices we will make,' which is kind of vague, is he saying that the US would veto any resolution in the UN which might dictate a peace solution or might recognize a Palestinian state?" CNN's Jake Tapper asked Rhodes on "The Lead."
    "Yes," Rhodes responded. "We've made that clear over and over, Jake."
    Rhodes continued, "We are focused on this one because the current trends on the ground, particularly the current Israeli settlement activity, is making a two-state solution potentially impossible and creating a reality where essentially what you have is a one-state solution where the West Bank is repeatedly occupied by Israeli settlements."
    Earlier on Wednesday, Kerry warned that a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict is "now in serious jeopardy." He also defended the US decision last week to abstain from a vote on a UN resolution condemning Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that Israelis are worried about a UN resolution recognizing a Palestinian state or codifying a peace process that the US would allow. He's also said the US was behind last week's UN resolution, an accusation Rhodes called a "distraction" on Wednesday.
    "Was there any prior contact between White House officials or State Department officials and either senior Egyptian or senior Palestinian officials separately regarding the resolution that the Egyptians put forward at the Security Council last week?" Tapper asked Rhodes.
    "I think it's absurd that we are even talking about a report in an Egyptian tabloid of a meeting that never took place," Rhodes responded. "What I can tell you with certainty is that we did not draft the resolution and put this resolution forward. This was something the Palestinians and Egyptians were working on for some time now."
    He continued, "We own the fact that we abstained from this resolution because we believe that was the right thing ... I think it is the Israeli government that is trying to have this distraction from the real debate."