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UN General Assembly Calls for Palestine to be Granted Full Membership

May 10, 2024

The United Nations General Assembly has taken a step towards bolstering Palestine’s position on the global stage, enhancing its rights within the UN framework and calling for its acceptance as a full member state. The move represents a symbolic victory for Palestinians, though full membership remains contingent on approval from the UN Security Council.

Since 2012, Palestine has held non-member observer state status, granting some privileges short of full membership. The potential for full membership remains contentious. While the General Assembly voted in favor of Palestinian rights, the United States would likely exercise its veto power if the issue reached the Security Council.

Recent signals from some European countries also indicate potential shifts towards the Palestinian cause. Ireland, Slovenia, Malta, and Spain are among the countries expected to recognize a sovereign Palestinian state.

Friday’s UN resolution grants Palestine additional rights within the General Assembly, including full participation in debates, proposing agenda items, and having representatives elected to committees. However, critically, it does not include voting rights, which only the Security Council can grant.

Last month, the US vetoed a Security Council resolution seeking full Palestinian membership as being “premature”.

The Palestinian quest for statehood has been a central, unresolved issue in international politics for decades. While 139 out of 193 UN member states recognize Palestine, the Palestinian Authority (PA) exercises only limited self-governance in parts of the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Hamas controls the Gaza Strip. Israel regards both territories as occupied and does not recognize Palestinian statehood.

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