News / Middle East

Palestinian Statehood Bid Has Strong UN Support

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (FILE PHOTO)
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (FILE PHOTO)
Margaret Besheer
The United Nations General Assembly is expected to decide late Thursday whether to upgrade the status of the Palestinian Authority at the world body from an entity to a non-member state.

Delegates from member nations say support is strong for the upgrade, but it will lack the backing of some key countries, including the United States. More than 60 countries are co-sponsoring the resolution.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will address the General Assembly before the vote. The Palestinians are expected to obtain well more than the required simple majority of the 193 U.N. member states present and voting.

US opposition

The United States firmly opposes the move, saying the only road to statehood for the Palestinians is through direct negotiations with Israel.

Palestinian UN Statehood Bid
 
  •  Palestinians are seeking non-member observer state status
  •  They currently have non-member observer entity status
  •  Upgraded status would allow Palestinians to participate in General Assembly debates
  •  With state status, Palestinians could apply to join the International Criminal Court and other U.N. agencies
  •  A Palestinian bid to gain full U.N. membership failed in 2011
Senior U.S. State Department officials met Wednesday with President Abbas in New York in a last-minute effort to urge him to reconsider the move in the General Assembly.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Deputy Secretary of State William Burns and Special Envoy for Middle East Peace David Hale were at the meeting.

“The deputy secretary also reiterated that no one should be under any illusion that this resolution is going to produce the results that the Palestinians claim to seek," Nuland said.

In Washington, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday the United States has made very clear to the Palestinian leadership that it opposes the upgrade.

“The path to a two-state solution that fulfills the aspirations of the Palestinian people is through Jerusalem and Ramallah, not New York,” she said.

The status would allow Palestinians access to the International Criminal Court, where they could ask the prosecutor to investigate Israel's actions in their territories.

Israel discounts move

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gestures as he delivers a statement to the foreign media in Tel Aviv, November 15, 2012.Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gestures as he delivers a statement to the foreign media in Tel Aviv, November 15, 2012.
x
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gestures as he delivers a statement to the foreign media in Tel Aviv, November 15, 2012.
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gestures as he delivers a statement to the foreign media in Tel Aviv, November 15, 2012.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday downplayed the Palestinians' attempt saying it will not help them achieve their long-promised state.
              
"The decision at the United Nations today won't change anything on the ground," Netanyahu said at a ceremony in Jerusalem. "It won't promote the establishment of a Palestinian state; it will distance it."

Granting Palestinians the title of "non-member observer state'' falls short of full U.N. membership, something they failed to achieve last year.
 
British Foreign Secretary William Hague told lawmakers Britain would consider embracing the request, but only if the Palestinian Authority could give him some key assurances - including pledges to return to negotiations with Israel and to not pursue its grievances with Israel in international courts.

Still, the Palestinians may also lack the support of some key European countries.
Germany has announced it will abstain.  France has said it will vote "yes" for the non-member state status, but many other European Union countries have not yet announced how they will vote.

Photo Gallery: Palestinians Rally in Support of UN Statehood Bid

  • People carry large Palestinian flags during a rally to support the Palestinian U.N. bid for observer state status, Hebron,  occupied West Bank, November 29, 2012.
  • A man holds a poster depicting late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat during a rally in Bethlehem, ocupied West Bank, November 29, 2012.
  • Palestinians hold posters of President Mahmoud Abbas during a rally in support of Mr. Abbas's efforts to secure a diplomatic upgrade at the United Nations, Gaza City, November 29, 2012.
  • Thousands of Palestinian refugees gather in front U.N.headquarters in Beirut, Lebanon, to support the Palestinian U.N. bid for observer state status, November 29, 2012.
  • Palestinians hold pictures of President Mahmoud Abbas and wave Fatah flags during a rally supporting the Palestinian U.N. bid for observer state status, Nablus, occupied West Bank, November 29, 2012.
  • People carry a large Palestinian flag during a rally Hebron, occupied West Bank, November 29, 2012.

You May Like

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid