Tue 02 Apr 2024 11:48 am - Jerusalem Time

(Reuters): Palestinian Authority to push for vote this month on full United Nations membership

The Palestinian Permanent Observer to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, told Reuters on Monday that the Palestinian Authority wants the United Nations Security Council to vote this month on full membership of the State of Palestine in the international organization, a step that could be thwarted by the United States of America, Israel’s ally.

Riyad Mansour, who has permanent observer status at the United Nations, announced the Palestinian plan as the war waged by Israel on the Gaza Strip approaches the completion of its sixth month, and the expansion of Israel’s settlement activity in the occupied West Bank.

Mansour told Reuters that the goal is for the Security Council to take a decision at a ministerial meeting scheduled to be held on April 18 regarding the Middle East, but a date for voting on it has not yet been set.

He stated that the Palestinian application submitted since 2011 for full membership is still pending because the 15-member council has not taken an official decision.

He added that the goal is to put the request to a vote in the Security Council this month.

In addition to efforts to end the war, global pressure is increasing to resume mediation efforts to reach a two-state solution to establish an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel.

The war began after Hamas fighters attacked Israel on October 7, which Israeli statistics indicate killed 1,200 and took 253 hostages.

Israel responded to the Hamas attack by imposing a complete siege on Gaza and then launched an air and ground attack that health authorities in Gaza say led to the death of more than 32,000 Palestinians.

United Nations approval:-

An application for full UN membership must be approved by the UN Security Council, where the United States can veto, and then approved by at least two-thirds of the 193-member General Assembly.

The US Mission to the United Nations has not yet responded to a request for comment.

A Security Council committee considered the Palestinian request in 2011 for a few weeks. But the committee did not reach a unanimous position, and the council never voted on a resolution recommending Palestinian membership.

Diplomats said at the time that the Palestinians did not receive enough support in the Security Council to make the United States need to use its veto. The resolution requires at least nine supportive votes and no veto from the United States, which said it opposes this step, or from Russia, China, France, or Britain, which are permanent members of the Security Council.

Instead of pressing for a council vote, due to the negative US stance on their request, the Palestinians went to the UN General Assembly seeking to become a non-member state with observer status. The Assembly agreed to raise Palestinian representation from “observer entity” to “non-member observer state” in November 2012, which implies recognition of it as a sovereign state.

Little progress has been made towards establishing a Palestinian state since the signing of the Oslo Accords between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in the early 1990s. Among the obstacles is the expansion of Israeli settlements.

The Palestinian Authority, headed by President Mahmoud Abbas, exercises limited self-rule in the West Bank, and Israel participated in the Oslo Accords. Hamas also carried out a separatist coup and excluded the Palestinian Authority in 2007 from administering the Gaza Strip.

Volker Türk, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, said last month that Israeli settlements threaten to eliminate any potential Palestinian state. He said that Israel's transfer of its population to the occupied territories amounts to a war crime.

The administration of US President Joe Biden said last February that Israel's expansion into West Bank settlements is inconsistent with international law, which indicates a reversal of the long-standing US policy on this issue, which the previous administration of Donald Trump deviated from.

New York-(Reuters)


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(Reuters): Palestinian Authority to push for vote this month on full United Nations membership