A vote by a large majority in the General Assembly in support of Palestine’s membership in the United Nations

The vote in favor of Palestine’s membership in the United Nations raised questions about the results of that step, and the extent to which this is related to “establishing the two-state solution,” and can the Palestinians obtain “full membership” in the United Nations?

On Friday, the United Nations General Assembly announced its support for the Palestinians’ bid to gain full membership in the international organization after it recognized that they were now eligible to join it.

The United Nations General Assembly issued a recommendation to the UN Security Council “to reconsider the matter in a positive manner.”

How do the Palestinians view the decision?

Palestinian political analyst and director of the Brussels Research Center, Ramadan Abu Jazar, points out that the clear majority vote expresses “global solidarity with the rights of the Palestinian people and rejection of Israeli measures in Gaza.”

The vote “serves Palestinian diplomacy and embarrasses Israel,” and is an indication of “a change in the positions of many countries that did not vote in previous times in favor of the establishment of Palestinian states,” and may cast a shadow over the Security Council, according to Abu Jazar.

The United Nations General Assembly consists of 193 member states, and it adopted the resolution by a majority of 143 votes in favor and nine opposing votes, including the United States and Israel, while 25 countries abstained from voting.

For his part, Palestinian political analyst, Ayman Al-Raqab, confirms that the decision is “historic and unprecedented,” but it is “non-binding.”

The vote of the General Assembly, which consists of 193 member states, is a “global poll” of the extent of support for the Palestinian bid to obtain full membership in the United Nations.

The approval of 143 votes for the resolution means that Palestine is currently in a stage between “full membership and an observer member,” and this is progress in “the Palestinian weight within the United Nations,” according to his interview with the Al-Hurra website.

The Palestinians currently have “non-member observer state” status, a de facto recognition of statehood approved by the UN General Assembly in 2012.

The resolution does not stipulate that the Palestinians be granted “full membership,” but it grants the Palestinians some additional rights and benefits as of September 2024, such as a seat with the United Nations member states in the Assembly Hall, but without them having the right to vote in it.

The text, which clearly excludes the right to vote and run for a non-permanent seat in the Security Council, allows the Palestinians, for example, to submit proposals and amendments directly without going through a third country.

Full membership?

In early April, the Palestinians repeated a request they made in 2011, through which they seek to make Palestine a “full member state” in the United Nations, where it currently enjoys the status of a “non-member observer state.”

The regional spokesman for the US State Department, Samuel Warburg, reveals that the UN General Assembly’s resolution will not change Palestine’s current status as a “non-member observer,” nor will it grant it the right to vote or run for membership in UN bodies.

Efforts must focus on “ending the fighting, providing the basic needs of civilians in Gaza, reaching a ceasefire, and ensuring the release of the hostages, while continuing to provide humanitarian aid to those most in need of it,” according to his talk to the Al-Hurra website.

He points out that the decision does not change the fact that “the Palestinian Authority does not currently meet the criteria for membership in the United Nations under the United Nations Charter,” as the US State Department spokesman explains.

For his part, professor of international law and former Egyptian minister, Dr. Mufid Shehab, confirms that the decision represents “a great morale boost for the Palestinians and their struggle to establish an independent state.”

The approval of the majority of United Nations countries to grant Palestine membership reveals that the international community, for the most part, believes that “there is a people who have their own land and have the right to be an independent state with specific borders like the rest of the countries,” according to his interview with the Al-Hurra website.

In theory, a state called Palestine has been recognized by 143 countries, but whether the decision is implemented or not on the ground is “another matter,” Shehab points out.

For his part, international law expert, Ayman Salama, explains that the decision means “upgrading or upgrading the benefits for Palestine as an observer member of the United Nations.”

But the resolution does not mean “changing the legal status” of Palestine, nor will it make it a “full member state,” because the United Nations General Assembly, according to Article Four of the Organization’s Charter, “does not vote by majority to accept a member state in the organization except after a recommendation from the Security Council,” according to what he told the website. “Free”.

To obtain “full membership” in the United Nations, “the approval of the Security Council must be obtained first and then the General Assembly.”

Granting “full membership” requires a positive recommendation from the Security Council and is required to be unanimously agreed upon by the five permanent members, according to Salameh.

Under the United Nations Charter, the Security Council consists of five permanent members with veto power: France, the United States, Russia, China, and the United Kingdom.

An “anticipated” American veto?

Granting “full membership” requires a positive recommendation from the Security Council, but the United States vetoed a draft resolution on this matter on April 18. Will the United States do it again?

Speaking to Al-Hurra website, the US State Department spokesman refused to talk “about future diplomatic matters.”

For his part, Abu Jazar does not expect “any change” in the American position that provides protection for Israel in international forums, and the United States may use its veto power.

We do not believe that the task in the Security Council is easy, and what happened is “morally and diplomatically positive,” but from a practical standpoint, the vote in the Security Council will collide with an expected American veto, according to the Palestinian political analyst.

In a related context, Al-Raqab expects the United States to use its veto power when going to vote in the Security Council.

“The Palestinian Authority must not submit the request to the Security Council at the present time,” and the appropriate timing should be chosen after the American elections have concluded, according to the Palestinian political analyst.

Will the decision lead to a two-state solution?

The United Nations has long supported the vision of a “two-state solution” living side by side within secure and recognized borders.

The Palestinians want to establish a state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

The Palestinians are represented by the Palestinian Authority, which exercises “limited self-rule” in the West Bank, and Hamas has run the Gaza Strip since 2007.

In previous statements to Al-Hurra website, an Israeli diplomatic source revealed that the current Israeli government, headed by Benjamin Netanyahu, “Does not support the two-state solution“.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “Israel has for years supported a two-state solution for two peoples, and the Palestinians have rejected that,” noting that “Hamas does not support the two-state solution.”

He adds: “Even 4-5 years ago, all Israeli governments since the 1990s supported the two-state solution for two peoples, and we tried to negotiate with the Palestinians, but every time we approached a peace agreement, they chose violence and terrorism,” as he put it.

For his part, speaking to Al-Hurra website, Israeli political analyst Eli Nissan believes that the decision is “formal” and does not lead to the establishment of a Palestinian state.

In reality, in order to recognize the establishment of an “independent state,” it must have permanent borders, according to the Israeli political analyst.

Nissan asks, denouncing, “Does the Palestinian Authority have borders or control the Gaza Strip and the entire West Bank?”

The strategic expert and former Israeli intelligence officer, Avi Melamed, agrees with him, asking: “Which Palestinian state are we talking about?… Is it Fatah, Hamas, or Islamic Jihad?”

There is no final internal Palestinian opinion to move towards a “two-state solution” peacefully, and there are Palestinian factions that reject peace and believe that “the violence and sabotage pursued by the Hamas and Islamic Jihad movements is the only way,” according to his interview with the Al-Hurra website.

The former Israeli intelligence officer refers to “the conflict between Hamas and Fatah,” asking: “What stable Palestinian entity are we talking about in light of the ongoing Palestinian division.”

Therefore, he believes that all talk about a “two-state solution” is not realistic at all.

But on the other hand, Al-Raqab points out that Palestine’s right as a state should be established “in Partition Resolution 181 issued in 1948,” which stipulated the existence of two states, “Jewish and Arab.”

In a related context, Abu Jazar asserts that the two-state solution is “the only project” available on the table of decision-makers at the United Nations, despite its “freezing.”

For his part, Warburg affirms the United States’ position in support of the “two-state solution” as the only way to achieve sustainable peace, ensure Israel’s security, and achieve dignity and freedom for the Palestinians.

Unilateral measures at the United Nations or on the ground are not considered useful in advancing these goals, and we will continue to work with our international partners to support negotiations that lead to a lasting and just solution that achieves the aspirations of all parties, according to the US State Department spokesman.

He says: “Our position on the vote on Palestine’s membership in the United Nations is firm… We do not believe that voting in favor of this membership will strengthen the two-state solution or provide concrete steps towards it, because we believe that such unilateral measures will not help achieve the desired peace.”

The war broke out following the unprecedented Hamas attack on areas and sites adjacent to the Gaza Strip on October 7, which resulted in the killing of 1,200 people, most of them civilians, including women and children, according to the Israeli authorities.

In response to the attack, Israel pledged to “eliminate the movement,” and has since carried out a bombing campaign followed by ground operations since October 27, resulting in the killing of about 35,000 Palestinians, most of them women and children, and the wounding of more than 78,000, according to what the Ministry of Health announced. In the sector.

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