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UN assembly approves resolution granting Palestine new rights and reviving its UN membership bid

The United Nations General Assembly voted by a large majority on Friday to grant new "rights and privileges" to Palestine and called on the Security Council to reconsider Palestine's bid to become the 194th member of the United Nations.

The international organization approved the resolution sponsored by Arab and Palestinian countries by a majority of 143 votes to 9, with 25 abstentions. The United States voted against the resolution, along with Israel, Argentina, Czechia, Hungary, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau and Papua New Guinea.

The vote reflects broad global support for Palestine's full membership in the United Nations, with many countries expressing anger over the rising death toll in Gaza and fears of a major Israeli attack on Rafah, the city of south where some 1.3 million Palestinians have found refuge. .

He has also shown growing support for the Palestinians. The October 27 General Assembly resolution calling for a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza was approved by a vote of 120 to 14, with 45 abstentions. This came just weeks after Israel launched its military offensive in response to an Oct. 7 Hamas attack in southern Israel that killed 1,200 people.

Although Friday's resolution grants Palestine new rights and privileges, it reaffirms that it remains a non-member observer state, without full membership in the United Nations and without the right to vote in the General Assembly or the one of his lectures. The United States has made clear that it will block Palestinian membership and statehood until direct negotiations with Israel resolve key issues, including security, borders and the future of Jerusalem, and lead to a two-state solution.

Deputy U.S. Ambassador Robert Wood said Friday that for the United States to support a Palestinian state, direct negotiations must guarantee Israel's security and future as a democratic Jewish state and allow Palestinians to live in peace in their own state.

The United States also vetoed a widely supported Security Council resolution on April 18 that would have paved the way for full Palestinian membership in the United Nations.

According to the UN Charter, potential UN members must be "peace-loving" and the Security Council must recommend their admission to the General Assembly for final approval. Palestine became a non-member observer state at the United Nations in 2012.

Wood confirmed Thursday that the United States viewed Friday's decision as an attempt to circumvent the provisions of the Charter.

Unlike Security Council resolutions, there is no veto in the 193-member General Assembly. Friday's resolution requires a two-thirds majority and received well over the minimum of 118 votes.

U.S. allies supported the resolution, including France, Japan, South Korea, Spain, Australia, Estonia and Norway. But European countries were very divided.

The resolution “decides” that the State of Palestine is eligible for membership, overturning the original text of the General Assembly decision which said it was a “peace-loving State.” It therefore recommends that the Security Council reconsider its request “positively”.

Renewed efforts to secure full Palestinian membership in the UN come at a time when the war in Gaza has placed the more than 75-year-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict at the center of attention. At numerous Council and Assembly meetings, the humanitarian crisis facing Palestinians in Gaza and the killing of more than 34,000 people in the Strip, according to Gaza health officials, have angered Many countries.

Before the vote, Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations, told the General Assembly in an emotional speech: “No words can express what this loss and shock means for Palestinians, their families and communities. , and for our nation as a whole. .”

He said Palestinians in Gaza "have been pushed to the limits of the Gaza Strip, to the limits of life" with Israel's siege of Rafah.

Mansour accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of preparing “to kill thousands of people to ensure his political survival” and of seeking to destroy the Palestinian people.

He praised the strong support for the resolution and told the AP that 144 countries have now recognized the State of Palestine, including four since Oct. 7, all from the Caribbean.

Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, strongly opposed the resolution, accusing UN member states of not mentioning the Hamas attack on October 7 and of seeking to "reward the modern-day Nazis with rights and privileges.”

He said that if elections were held today, Hamas would win, and warned UN members that they were "on the verge of granting privileges and rights to the future terrorist state of Hamas." He posted a photo of Yahya Sinwar, the mastermind of the Hamas attack on Israel, claiming that the terrorist “whose stated goal is the genocide of the Jews” would be a future Palestinian leader.

Erdan also accused the General Assembly of trampling on the UN Charter and published two pages saying “United Nations. “Charter” in the little shredder he lifted.

Three Western diplomats, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the negotiations were private, said the original draft resolution was significantly modified to address the concerns of not only the United States, but also Russia and China.

The first draft would have granted Palestine “the rights and privileges necessary to ensure its full and effective participation” in Assembly sessions and UN conferences “on an equal footing with Member States.” It also does not indicate whether Palestine can vote in the General Assembly.

According to diplomats, Russia and China, which are strong supporters of Palestinian membership in the UN, feared that granting the rights and privileges listed in the annex could set a precedent for other members UN potentials - Russia worried about Kosovo and China about it. Taiwan.

Under long-standing legislation in the U.S. Congress, the United States must cut funding to U.N. agencies that grant full membership to a Palestinian state, which would mean eliminating dues and voluntary contributions to the UN as its largest contributor.

The final draft voted on dropping language that would put Palestine “on an equal footing with member states.” To address Chinese and Russian concerns, it decided “on an exceptional and unprecedented basis” to adopt the rights and privileges contained in the annex.

He also added a clause in the annex clarifying that it does not grant Palestine the right to vote in the General Assembly or present candidates to UN agencies.

What the resolution gives Palestine is the right to speak out on all issues, not just those related to Palestinians and the Middle East, to propose agenda items, to respond to discussions and to work in the main committees of the Assembly. Palestinians are also allowed to participate in the United Nations and international conferences organized by the United Nations, but without the right to vote.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas first submitted the Palestinian Authority's candidacy to the UN in 2011. The candidacy failed because the Palestinians did not receive the minimum required support from nine of the 15 members of the Security Council.

They addressed the General Assembly and succeeded, by a majority of more than two-thirds, in elevating their status from observer to the United Nations to that of a non-member observer state. This opened the door for the Palestinian territories to join the United Nations and other international organizations, including the International Criminal Court.

In the Security Council vote on April 18, the Palestinians received much greater support for full membership in the United Nations. The vote was by a majority of 12, with the United Kingdom and Switzerland abstaining, and the United States voting “no” and using its veto against the resolution.


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