The US has blocked a UN resolution which expressed “deep regret at recent decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem” after President Trump recognised the city as Israel’s capital.
The use of the veto at the UN Security Council has further isolated America, which is the only country to officially recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel by planning to move its embassy there.
The resolution, backed by France and Britain, did not mention the US or Mr Trump specifically.
The remaining 14 members on the Security Council voted for it.
US ambassador Nikki Haley said: “We do it with no joy, but we do it with no reluctance.
“The fact that this veto is being done in defence of American sovereignty and in defence of America’s role in the Middle East peace process is not a source of embarrassment for us; it should be an embarrassment to the remainder of the Security Council.
“The United States will not be told by any country where we can put our embassy. Buried even deeper in the jargon of this resolution is the accusation that the United States is setting back the prospects of peace in the Middle East. That is a scandalous charge.
“What we witnessed here in the Security Council is an insult. It won’t be forgotten. It’s one more example of the United Nations doing more harm than good in addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“Today for the simple act of deciding where to put our embassy, the United States was forced to defend its sovereignty. The record will reflect that we did so proudly.”
Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, praised Ms Haley after her veto.
On Twitter, he wrote: “Truth defeated lies. Thank you, President Trump. Thank you, Nikki Haley.”
He added a comparison of her to the Maccabees, Jewish warriors commemorated during Hanukkah for revolting against Hellenic rulers and rededicating the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem.
Since the veto, Downing St confirmed Prime Minister Theresa May and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed in a phone call that new tensions that could put the peace process in the Middle East at risk should be avoided.
A Downing Street spokesperson said: “The Prime Minister and the President discussed the US decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The Prime Minister reiterated that the UK disagreed with the decision and believed it to be unhelpful in terms of prospects for peace in the region.
“She added that the status of Jerusalem should be determined in a negotiated settlement between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and that Jerusalem should ultimately form a shared capital between the Israeli and Palestinian states.
“The Prime Minister noted the importance of continuing to work with the United States to encourage them to bring forward proposals that will re-energise the peace process.
“The Prime Minister and President Erdogan expressed their continuing commitment to a two-state solution.”
The veto has been denounced by several other nations. In a statement, the Turkish foreign ministry said the resolution’s approval by the 14 other nations showed “the most concrete indication of the illegitimacy” of the American decision.
The statement added that Turkey would continue to stand by the “Palestinian state and its people”.
Riad al-Malki, Palestinian foreign minister said: “We will show the United States of America and Nikki Haley that they are isolated, that they are alone in the general assembly and that the vast majority of the member states of the United Nations supports the Palestinian position which means that they consider the Trump’s decision as null and void that contradicts the international law.”
Mr Trump announced his decision to move the embassy to Jerusalem as part of a “new approach” to the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
It triggered violence in the West Bank and Gaza Strip as Palestinians reacted with a “day of rage”.