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UN General Assembly backs Palestinian bid for membership

With 143 countries voting in favor, 9 against, and 25 abstentions.

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.”

“Voting yes is the right thing to do,” he said in remarks that drew applause.

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.

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.

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.

The General Assembly resolution adopted on Friday does give the Palestinians some additional rights and privileges from September 2024 – like a seat among the U.N. members in the assembly hall – but they will not be granted a vote in the body.

The Palestinians are currently a non-member observer state, a de facto recognition of statehood that was granted by the U.N. General Assembly in 2012.

They are represented at the U.N. by the Palestinian Authority, which exercises limited self-rule in the West Bank. Hamas ousted the Palestinian Authority from power in Gaza in 2007. Hamas – which has a charter calling for Israel’s destruction – launched the Oct. 7 attack on Israel that triggered Israel’s assault on Gaza.

News source: https://acortar.link/7K0K13

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