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UNITED NATIONS: The UN General Assembly overwhelmingly voted to grant Palestinians ‘non-member state’ UN observer status. Earlier, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas appealed to the UN General Assembly to recognise Palestinian statehood by supporting a resolution to upgrade the UN observer status of the Palestinian Authority from “entity” to “non-member state”.
“The General Assembly is called upon today to issue a birth certificate of the reality of the State of Palestine,” Abbas told the 193-nation assembly, according to the written text of his speech.
The UN General Assembly is set to approve an implicit recognition of Palestinian statehood despite threats by the United States and Israel to punish the Palestinian Authority by withholding funds for the West Bank government.
A resolution that would lift the Palestinian Authority’s UN observer status from “entity” to “non-member state”, is expected to pass easily in the 193-nation General Assembly. At least 15 European states plan to vote for it.
Israel, the US and a handful of other members are set to vote against what they see as a largely symbolic and counterproductive move by the Palestinians, which takes place on the 65th anniversary of the assembly’s adoption of resolution 181 on the partition of Palestine into Jewish and Arab states.
Granting Palestinians the title of “non-member observer state” falls short of full UN membership - something the Palestinians failed to achieve last year. But it would allow them access to the International Criminal Court and other international bodies, should they choose to join them.
Speaking at an annual UN event in support of the Palestinians, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al Maliki appealed to UN member states to support UN resolution. He also repeated his support for peace with Israel. Reuters