UN General Assembly set to back Palestine Membership

UN General Assembly set to back Palestine Membership

The United Nations General Assembly on Friday overwhelmingly backed a Palestinian bid to become a full U.N. member by recognizing it as qualified to join and recommending the U.N. Security Council “reconsider the matter favorably.”

The vote by the 193-member General Assembly was a global survey of support for the Palestinian bid to become a full U.N. member – a move that would effectively recognize a Palestinian state – after the United States vetoed it in the U.N. Security Council last month.

The assembly adopted a resolution with 143 votes in favor and nine against – including the U.S. and Israel – while 25 countries abstained. It does not give the Palestinians full U.N. membership, but simply recognizes them as qualified to join.

 

 

The resolution “determines that the State of Palestine … should therefore be admitted to membership” and it “recommends that the Security Council reconsider the matter favorably.”

The Palestinian push for full U.N. membership comes seven months into a war between Israel and Palestinian militants Hamas in the Gaza Strip, and as Israel is expanding settlements in the occupied West Bank, which the U.N. considers to be illegal.
“We want peace, we want freedom,” Palestinian U.N. Ambassador Riyad Mansour told the assembly before the vote. “A yes vote is a vote for Palestinian existence, it is not against any state. It is an investment in peace.”

 

Under the founding U.N. Charter, membership is open to “peace-loving states” that accept the obligations in that document and are able and willing to carry them out.
“As long as so many of you are ‘Jew-hating,’ you don’t really care that the Palestinians are not ‘peace-loving’,” U.N. Ambassador Gilad Erdan, who spoke after Mansour, told his fellow diplomats.

He accused the assembly of shredding the U.N. Charter – as he used a small shredder to destroy a copy of the Charter while at the lectern.

An application to become a full U.N. member first needs to be approved by the 15-member Security Council and then the General Assembly. If the measure is again voted on by the council it is likely to face the same fate: a U.S veto.

ADDITIONAL UN RIGHTS

Deputy U.S Ambassador to the UN Robert Wood told the General Assembly after the vote that unilateral measures at the UN and on the ground will not advance a two-state solution.

The United Nations has long endorsed a vision of two states living side by side within secure and recognized borders. Palestinians want a state in the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza Strip, all territory captured by Israel in the 1967 war with neighboring Arab states.

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