UN Security Council expected to vote on full Palestinian membership

AFP , Thursday 18 Apr 2024

Full UN membership for the Palestinians would help alleviate the "historic injustice" suffered by generations, a senior Palestinian Authority official said Thursday ahead of a Security Council vote on the membership bid.

Security Council
A general view shows a Security Council meeting at the United Nations headquarters, Thursday, April 18, 2024. AP


That vote is expected to take place at 5:00 pm (2100 GMT) according to Malta, which holds the council's rotating presidency.

"Granting Palestine full membership at the United Nations will lift some of the historic injustice that succeeding Palestinian generations have been subjected to," the special Palestinian Authority envoy, Ziad Abu Amr, told the Council.

"It will open wide prospects before a true peace based on justice."

Any request to become a UN member state must first earn a recommendation from the Security Council -- meaning at least nine positive votes out of 15, and no vetoes -- and then be endorsed by a two-thirds majority of the General Assembly.

But the United States, Israel's main ally, has not hesitated in the past to use its veto in favor for Israel, and has not hidden its lack of enthusiasm for Palestinian UN membership -- meaning the initiative appears doomed.

Washington believes the United Nations is not the venue for recognition of a Palestinian state, which must be the result of a peace deal with Israel.

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas launched a membership application in 2011 but it never came before the Security Council for a vote. The General Assembly then voted to grant the Palestinians observer status in November 2012.

The Palestinian envoy asked how membership could "damage the prospects of peace between Palestinians and Israelis," calling out the United States and others who oppose membership to respond.

Abu Amr insisted UN membership for Palestinians would not replace "serious political negotiations" with Israel but instead "grant hope to the Palestinian people hope for a decent life within an independent state."

Israel's government opposes a two-state solution, defended by most of the international community including the United States.

The membership bid comes as Israel wages a one-sided war against Palestinians in Gaza that has drawn international condemnation and renewed calls for Palestinian statehood.

Israel has killed nearly 34,000 people, mostly women and children, since the war began on 7 October, according to the Gaza health ministry.

*This story was edited by Ahram Online

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