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US will vote against move to give Palestinians UN membership

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The US will vote against a UN Security Council resolution later on Thursday that would grant a Palestinian state full UN membership, killing a move proposed by Algeria.

“The United States is voting no on this proposed security council resolution,” state department spokesman Vedant Patel said, adding that Washington sees direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians as “the most expeditious path” towards Palestinian statehood.

The 15-member council will vote later on Thursday on the resolution that calls for full membership of the UN General Assembly for the state of Palestine. It requires nine votes and no vetoes by any of the Security Council’s permanent members, the US, UK, France, Russia and China.

US opposition leaves the resolution with no prospect of success.

“Premature actions in New York, even with the best of intentions, will not achieve statehood for the Palestinian people,” Patel said.

Arab states and the Palestinians have been pushing the US and other western nations to recognise a Palestinian state and grant full membership of the UN as a sign of their commitment to a two-state solution. They consider the move as critical to any broader settlement for the crisis triggered by the Israel-Hamas war. Permanent Security Council members Russian and China already recognise Palestine as a state. 

The UN General Assembly granted the Palestinians non-member observer status in 2012 but the Security Council as well as at least two-thirds of the General Assembly must approve full UN membership.

UN secretary-general António Guterres has said he supports “good-faith efforts” to find “lasting peace” between Israel and a sovereign Palestinian state.

Ziad Abu Amr, the Palestinians’ UN ambassador, said full membership would not endanger any possible negotiations.

“To those who say that recognising the Palestinian state must happen through negotiations and not through a UN resolution, we say: ‘How was the State of Israel established? Wasn’t that through a UN resolution, which was Resolution 181?’”

Gilad Erdan, Israel’s ambassador to the UN, said full membership for the Palestinians would be a “prize to terrorists” and would make “any future negotiation almost impossible”.

The Palestinian Authority exercises limited self-rule in parts of the occupied West Bank. It ruled Gaza until 2007, when it was ousted by Hamas.

The Algerian proposal comes just over six months after Israel launched its war against Hamas in Gaza, a response to the group’s October 7 attack on Israel that killed 1,200 people. The Israeli offensive in the enclave has killed more than 33,000 people, according to Palestinian authorities.

The US has often used its veto in the Security Council to prevent resolutions critical of Israel, its close ally in the Middle East, but last month proposed its own measure calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza amid mounting concern in Washington about the humanitarian toll. Russia and China vetoed the US initiative, saying it was “hypocritical”.

Via

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