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New York - UN to Vote Thursday on Raising Palestinian Status

Published on: November 26, 2012 09:08 PM
By: AP
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File photo of United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters, 2012. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)File photo of United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters, 2012. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

New York - The Palestinians said the U.N. General Assembly will vote Thursday afternoon on a resolution raising their status at the United Nations from an observer to a nonmember observer state, a move they believe is an important step toward a two-state solution with Israel.

Unlike the Security Council, there are no vetoes in the General Assembly and the resolution is virtually certain of approval. The world body is dominated by countries sympathetic to the Palestinian cause and the resolution only requires a majority vote for approval. To date, 132 countries - over two-thirds of the U.N. member states - have recognized the state of Palestine.

A spokesman for the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations said Monday that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will address the 193-member world body before the resolution is put to a vote. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press about the matter.

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The Palestinians are seeking to enhance their status because their application in September 2011 to become a full U.N. member state has been blocked. To become a member state, an applicant must be approved by the U.N. Security Council and the United States has made clear it would veto the bid until there is a final settlement with Israel.

Israel and the United States are also on record opposing the move for enhanced status, saying the Palestinians should first negotiate their statehood with the Jewish state, not take unilateral action and sidestep talks.

“We do not think that this step is going to bring the Palestinian people any closer to a state,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters Monday in Washington.

“We think it is a mistake” she said. “We oppose it.”

Nuland said the U.S. was continuing to make its case with other countries who will cast their votes.

The Palestinians believe their upgraded status would add weight to their claims for a state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem, territories captured by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war. Israel pulled out of Gaza in 2005.

The Palestinians also hope to use their upgraded status to join additional U.N. bodies, such as the International Criminal Court, where they could attempt to prosecute Israel.

At the same time, they have expressed fear of financial and diplomatic retaliation.

Following last year’s move by the Palestinians to join the U.N. cultural agency UNESCO, the United States withheld funds from the organization, which amount to 22 percent of its budget. The U.S. also withheld money to the Palestinians, and the U.S. Congress has threatened similar sanctions if the Palestinians proceed to improve their status at the U.N. again.

Israel also retaliated by accelerating settlement construction and withholding funds from the Palestinian government.

The latest draft resolution, obtained by The Associated Press, would have the General Assembly decide “to accord to Palestine Nonmember Observer State status in the United Nations, without prejudice to the acquired rights, privileges and role of the Palestine Liberation Organization in the United Nations as the representative of the Palestinian people, in accordance with the relevant resolutions and practice.”

It “reaffirms the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and to independence in their State of Palestine on the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967.”

The draft also expresses “the urgent need for the resumption and acceleration of negotiations within the Middle East peace process” to achieve “a just, lasting and comprehensive peace settlement between the Palestinian and Israeli sides that resolves all outstanding core issues, namely the Palestine refugees, Jerusalem, settlements, borders, security and water.” It drops “prisoners” as a core issue.


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1

 Nov 26, 2012 at 10:26 PM DRE53 Says:

Give it to them already and let's move on. I can't stand how much has been spoken and written about this.
Does it really make a difference what status Palistein will have at the UN?
We have issues with much greater importance to deal with. Let's focus on what matters most.

2

 Nov 27, 2012 at 12:04 AM volfe Says:

(answer on comment 1#) Maybe now when they bring up Arafats bonus they will show him how far they came fwd since he died

3

 Nov 27, 2012 at 02:41 AM LionofZion Says:

Reply to #1  
DRE53 Says:

Give it to them already and let's move on. I can't stand how much has been spoken and written about this.
Does it really make a difference what status Palistein will have at the UN?
We have issues with much greater importance to deal with. Let's focus on what matters most.

Yes. It does make a difference. In a matter of two years we will see the apartheid claims grow and shortly thereafter, war crime claims. The UN leaders Yemach Shemam, will move to prosecute. It is all very bad. Thanks, Peres. I hope you are alive to witness it all.

4

 Nov 27, 2012 at 06:48 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
volfe Says:

(answer on comment 1#) Maybe now when they bring up Arafats bonus they will show him how far they came fwd since he died

Where will they be bringing up Arafats "bonus". At the next board meeting?
And exactly what did Arafat do in the last year to earn this "bonus"?

5

 Nov 27, 2012 at 07:47 AM CommonSense Says:

Israel is so stupid.

It's going to pass anyway. It would be a brilliant move for Netanyahu to get up publicly and say that we want to show the world that we stand with the Palestinians in the West Bank in their bid for statehood. It would suddenly show that Abbas's approach is paying off more than Hamas's.
The bottom line is that in the West Bank they're building a future and hope. And wherever there's hope in the world there's less violence and you see it. Rockets aren't flying out of Ramallah.
But if you send the message that the only time Israel even acknowledges the Palestinians presence is when there's violence then that's exactly what you'll get.

6

 Nov 27, 2012 at 01:03 PM esther Says:

Reply to #5  
CommonSense Says:

Israel is so stupid.

It's going to pass anyway. It would be a brilliant move for Netanyahu to get up publicly and say that we want to show the world that we stand with the Palestinians in the West Bank in their bid for statehood. It would suddenly show that Abbas's approach is paying off more than Hamas's.
The bottom line is that in the West Bank they're building a future and hope. And wherever there's hope in the world there's less violence and you see it. Rockets aren't flying out of Ramallah.
But if you send the message that the only time Israel even acknowledges the Palestinians presence is when there's violence then that's exactly what you'll get.

you call israel stupid and then say they're building a future and hope in the west bank!? what future,what hope? to continue to rely on the world's charity while corrupt leaders reap the benefits? to continue to teach children in state run schools to hate and want to kill jews? to continue to subsidize goverment clerics to call for the same on state run tv?

7

 Nov 27, 2012 at 02:39 PM CommonSense Says:

Esther
Peace will only come when both sides recognize that there's another side with another narrative. They look at the past 100 years differently than we do and yea they're mad as hell and feel like their whole land has been taken from them so you can expect such language.
Until we recognize that and they recognize our narrative nothing will happen.
But they are building some kind of future and hope and if you go into Ramallah it's light years ahead of where it was 10 years ago.
That needs to be encouraged because if it isn't than Hamas looks like a genius.

8

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