The United States was the only country to vote against, using its veto as one of five permanent members of the council. Four of the 15 members of the Security Council abstained: Bulgaria, Cameroon, Germany and Britain.
U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte said the resolution "was unbalanced" and "did not further the goals of peace and security in the region."
The vote came after a fierce debate that saw several of about 40 countries that spoke portray the wall as racist and colonialist, a blatant land-grab, worse than the Berlin Wall, and an overreaction that would turn some parts of the Palestinian territories into "open-air prisons."
Syrian Ambassador Fayssal Mekdad, whose country is the only Arab member on the 15-member council, introduced the draft resolution Thursday on behalf of the 22-member Arab League.
The request for Security Council action came a week after the Israeli cabinet approved an extension of the barrier that would sweep around Jewish settlements deep in the West Bank.
After the open meeting, the Security Council had adjourned and diplomats had said the United States was seeking changes. Negroponte has insisted any resolution on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must condemn terrorist activities by Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other militant groups.
A council diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Palestinians indicated they were willing to continue discussions on the draft but Syria forced the vote even though it knew the United States would veto it.
Israeli Ambassador Dan Gillerman praised the veto, saying the resolution "failed to draw attention to Palestinian terrorism."
Sharon and Bush are becoming more and more isolated.