U.N. passes resolution upgrading Palestinian status; U.S.; Israel object

The General Assembly voted to give observer state status to the State of Palestine. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
The General Assembly voted to give observer state status to the State of Palestine. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

May 10 (UPI) -- The United Nations General Assembly on Friday approved a resolution to upgrade the State of Palestine to "observer state" status amid Israel's ongoing war with Hamas in Gaza.

The General Assembly voted 143-9 in favor of the resolution and 25 abstaining. The United States and Israel were two of the nine countries that voted against the resolution. Britain abstained.


The observer state status urges the U.N. Security Council to give "favorable consideration" but stops short of offering full membership.

The status will allow Palestine to be seated among member states, make statements in front of the body on behalf of Palestine, submit and co-sponsored proposals and amendments, to participate to U.N. conferences.

"No words can capture what such loss and trauma signify for Palestinians, their families, their communities and for our nation as a whole," Riyad Mansour, Palestinian permanent observer said as the death toll to the war reached 35,000.

Gild Erdan, the permanent representative of Israel, charged that giving Palestine expanded status would only appease Hamas terrorists.

"You have opened up the United Nations to modern-day Nazism," Erdan said. "It makes me sick. A terrorist diplomat whose stated goal is Jewish genocide. Today, you have a choice between weakness and fighting terror. ... This way will go down in infamy."


U.S. Ambassador Robert Wood said that the United States' "no" vote should not be viewed as moving away from a "two-state solution," but that it must be negotiated.

"We have been clear that we support it and seek it and seek to advance it meaningfully," Wood said. "Instead, it is an acknowledgment that statehood will come from a process that involves direct negotiations between the parties."

Wood said a two-state solution is the only one that "guarantees Israel's security and future as a democratic Jewish state."

"There is not another path that guarantees Palestinians can live in peace and dignity in a state of their own," Wood said.

In March, the U.N. Security Council voted to call for a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas. The United States abstained, allowing the resolution to be approved. The United States had stood in the way of other cease-fire votes.

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