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UNGA Votes 143-9 To Upgrade Palestinian Statehood Status

Screens show the voting results during the United Nations General Assembly vote on a draft resolution that would recognize the Palestinians as qualified to become a full U.N. member, in New York City, US May 10, 2024.(photo credit: Eduardo Munoz/Reuters) via TJP

United Nations General Assembly, has voted 143-9 to upgrade Palestine’s status as a non-member observer state, sparking criticism from Israel.

The United Nations General Assembly voted 143-9 to upgrade the Palestinian’s status as a non-member observer state, granting it all but voting rights with regard to all activities related to its plenum.

Jerusalem Post reports that, Argentina, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Israel, Micronesia, Nauru, Papa New Guinea, Palau, and the United States opposed the resolution.

Among those countries that supported the text were many European Union members, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, France, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain.

Australia also supported the resolution, while Canada, Great Britain, and Ukraine abstained.

There are already some 143 countries that recognize Palestine as a state.

The UNGA vote, which is mostly symbolic, is viewed as an international referendum in support of unilateral Palestinian statehood.

Controversy over Palestinian recognition. 

Many Western and European countries have believed that full Palestinian statehood recognition and Palestinian UN membership should come at the end of a final status agreement that tends to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Read Also: Slovenia To Recognize Palestinian State By Mid-June

In light of Hamas’s invasion of southern Israel on October 7 that sparked the Gaza War, a number of Western countries have reconsidered their position.

Israel immediately attacked the decision, as a prize for terrorism, given that it comes in the aftermath of Hamas’s October 7 attack, which sparked the Gaza war.

It also warned that such a step would harm negotiation for the release of the remaining 132 hostages held by Hamas and other terror groups in Gaza.

“The message that the UN is sending to our suffering region: violence pays off,” the Foreign Ministry stated.

“The decision to upgrade the status of Palestinians in the UN is a prize for Hamas terrorists after they committed the largest massacre of Jews since the Holocaust and perpetrated the most heinous sexual crimes the world has seen,” it stated.

“The decision also provides a tailwind to Hamas amid negotiations for the release of the 132 hostages and humanitarian relief, further complicating the prospects for a deal,” Israel’s Foreign Ministry stated.

“Israel seeks peace, and peace will only be achieved through direct negotiation between the parties,” the Foreign Ministry said, as it thanked those countries that opposed the resolution, explaining that they stood “on the right side of history and morality.”

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz posted on X that, “The political theater of the United Nations made an artificial, distorted and disconnected decision.”

“We want peace, we want freedom,” Palestinian UN 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 UN 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’,” UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan, who spoke after Mansour, told his fellow diplomats. He accused the assembly of shredding the UN Charter – as he used a small shredder to destroy a copy of the Charter while at the lectern.

Shame on you,” Erdan said.

Deputy US 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.

“Our vote does not reflect opposition to Palestinian statehood; we have been very clear that we support it and seek to advance it meaningfully. Instead, it is an acknowledgment that statehood will only come from a process that involves direct negotiations between the parties,” he said.

The resolution affirmed that “Palestine is qualified for membership in the United Nations in accordance with article 4 of the Charter and should therefore be admitted to membership in the United Nations.”

The resolution affirmed “the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including the right to their independent State of Palestine.”

It called on the UN Security Council to grant the Palestinians membership in the UN. The approval of the 15-member UNSC is a necessary state for UN membership.

The Palestinians with the help of the United Arab Emirates, which authored Friday’s resolution, turned the UNGA after the United States used its veto power in the UNSC to block Palestinain UN membership.

None of the UN member states have veto power in the UNGA where the Palestinians have an automatic majority.

In 2012 the UNGA granted the Palestinians all the rights of a non-member observer state, in a vote that was approved 138-9. At the time Argentina supported the measure, while Canada opposed it.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Source: TJP

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