UN Backs Palestine Membership Bid Amid Ongoing Gaza Conflict

The UN General Assembly voted 143-9 in favor of Palestine's bid for full membership, with 29 abstentions. The resolution calls for the UN Security Council to reconsider Palestine's membership, supporting a two-state solution.

Nitish Verma
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UN Backs Palestine Membership Bid Amid Ongoing Gaza Conflict

UN Backs Palestine Membership Bid Amid Ongoing Gaza Conflict

The United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly on Friday to Vote support Palestine's bid for full membership, with 143 countries voting in favor, 9 against, and 29 abstaining. The resolution, put forward by the United Arab Emirates, calls for the UN Security Council to "reconsider the matter favourably" and asserts that "the State of Palestine is qualified for membership in the United Nations."

Why this matters: Thisvote, votes, un, resolution, supporting, full, memb sends a strong signal to Israel and the international community that the majority of UN member states support Palestinian statehood and a two-state solution, which could increase pressure on Israel to resume direct negotiations with the Palestinians. The outcome also underscores the growing frustration with the stalled peace process and the need for a more decisive and collective international effort to resolve the conflict.

In an emotional speech before the vote, Palestinian Ambassador Riyad Mansour declared, "As we speak, 1.4 million Palestinians in Rafah wonder if they will survive today... Our flag flies high and proud in Palestine and across the globe, and on the campus of Columbia University." He emphasized that a 'yes' vote is a vote for Palestinian existence and not against any state, but rather against attempts to deprive Palestinians of their state.

The United States, which voted against the resolution, had previously used its Security Council veto on April 18 to stop the process. Deputy US Ambassador to the UN Robert Wood stated, "Our vote does not reflect opposition to Palestinian statehood; we have been very clear that we support it and seek to advance it meaningfully... Instead, it is an acknowledgement that statehood will come only from a process that involves direct negotiations between the parties."

Israel's envoy, Ambassador Gilad Erdan, voiced loud opposition to the resolution, claiming it would give rights to Hamas terrorists. He held up a placard with a photo of Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar, saying, "Soon-to-be President Yahya Sinwar, tyrant of the state of Hamas, sponsored by the U.N." Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz also condemned the among, countries, support, un, membership, stating that it sent the message to Hamas that violence pays off.

While General Assembly resolutions are not legally binding, they carry moral weight. The vote, allow, full, membership of 143 countries sends a clear signal of the international community's stance on Palestinian statehood. Richard Gowan, UN director for the International Crisis Group, noted, "I think the un, general, membership shows that most U.N. members not only want a cease-fire in Gaza, but actually want a more fundamental long-term solution to the Palestinian question based on a two-state solution."

The resolution grants the Palestinians additional rights as observers, including the ability to submit proposals and amendments directly and to be seated among member states in alphabetical order. However, it does not change their current status as a non-member observer state, which they have held since 2012. The index comes amid the ongoing war in Gaza, with Israel pressing on with its military operations against Hamas. Nearly 35,000 Palestinians are estimated to have died in the seven-month Israeli military campaign.