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

Photogallery Pistorius Sentenced, Taken to Prison

Pistorius, convicted of culpable homicide in shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, will likely serve about 10 months of five-year sentence, before completing it under house arrest More

UN to Aid Central Africa in Polio Vaccinations

Synchronized vaccinations will be conducted after Cameroon reports a fifth case of the wild polio virus in its territory More

WHO: Ebola Vaccine May Be in Use by Jan.

WHO assistant director Dr. Marie Paule Kieny says clinical trials of Ebola vaccines are underway or planned in Europe, US and Africa More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid