UN Security Council to vote Thursday on Palestinian bid for full membership

Wednesday, April 17, 2024 – The United Nations Security Council will vote on Thursday, April 18 on the Palestinians’ application to become a full UN member state.

As Israel continues its military offensive in Gaza, the Palestinians in early April revived a membership application first made to the UN in 2011, though the  United States has repeatedly expressed opposition to the proposal and vetoed it.

The General Assembly can admit a new member state with a two-thirds majority vote, but only after the Security Council gives its recommendation.

After several diplomatic sources told AFP of the planned vote, the Regional bloc the Arab Group issued a statement Tuesday affirming its “unwavering support” for the Palestinians’ application.

“Membership in the United Nations is a crucial step in the right direction towards a just and lasting resolution of the Palestinian question in line with international law and relevant UN resolutions,” the statement said.

Algeria, a non-permanent Security Council member, has drafted the resolution that “recommends” to the General Assembly that “the State of Palestine be admitted to membership of the United Nations.”

The vote on Thursday will coincide with a Security Council meeting scheduled several weeks ago to discuss the situation in Gaza, which ministers from several Arab countries are expected to attend.

The Palestinians who have had observer status at the United Nations since 2012 have lobbied for years to gain full membership.

“We are seeking admission. That is our natural and legal right,” Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations, said in April.

According to the Palestinian side, 137 of the 193 UN member states already recognize a Palestinian state, raising hope that their request would be supported in the General Assembly.

But the Palestinian push for UN membership faces a major hurdle, as the United States who is Israel’s closest ally, could use its veto power to block the Security Council recommendation.

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