UN General Assembly likely to support Palestinian bid for membership

UN General Assembly likely to support Palestinian bid for membership
UN General Assembly likely to support Palestinian bid for membership(image: Reuters)
UN General Assembly likely to support Palestinian bid for membership
UN General Assembly likely to support Palestinian bid for membership(image: Reuters)

UN General Assembly likely to support Palestinian bid for membership

UN General Assembly likely to support Palestinian bid for membership

UN General Assembly likely to support Palestinian bid for membership

UNITED NATIONS, May 10 (Reuters) – The United Nations General Assembly on Friday is set to back a Palestinian bid to become a full U.N. member by recognizing it as qualified to join and sending the application back to the U.N. Security Council to “reconsider the matter favorably.”

The Palestinians are reviving their 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 15-member U.N. Security Council last month.

The vote by the 193-member General Assembly on Friday will act as a global survey of support for the Palestinians. An application to become a full U.N. member first needs to be approved by the Security Council and then the General Assembly.

But while the General Assembly alone cannot grant full U.N. membership, the draft resolution being put to a vote on Friday will give the Palestinians some additional rights and privileges from September 2024 – like a seat among the U.N. members in the assembly hall – but it will not be granted a vote in the body.

Diplomats said the draft text is likely to get the support needed to be adopted.

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.

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.

US FUNDING

The Palestinian U.N. mission in New York said on Thursday – in a letter to U.N. member states – that adoption of the draft resolution backing full U.N. membership would be an investment in preserving the long-sought-for two-state solution.

It said it would “constitute a clear reaffirmation of support at this very critical moment for the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including the right to their independent State.”

The mission is run 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.

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 U.S. mission to the United Nations said earlier this week: “It remains the U.S. view that the path toward statehood for the Palestinian people is through direct negotiations.”

Israel’s U.N. Ambassador Gilad Erdan on Monday denounced the draft text for attempting to give the Palestinians the de facto status and rights of a state. He said the adoption of the text would not change anything on the ground.

“If it is approved, I expect the United States to completely stop funding the U.N. and its institutions, in accordance with American law,” said Erdan.

Under U.S. law, Washington cannot fund any U.N. organization that grants full membership to any group that does not have the “internationally recognized attributes” of statehood. The United States cut funding in 2011 for the U.N. cultural agency, UNESCO, after the Palestinians joined as a full member.

On Thursday, 25 U.S. Republican senators – more than half of the party’s members in the chamber – introduced a bill to tighten those restrictions and cut off funding to any entity giving rights and privileges to the Palestinians. The bill is unlikely to pass the Senate, which is controlled by President Joe Biden’s Democrats.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by VoM News staff and is published from syndicated feed)

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