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UN Security Council to vote Friday on Palestinian UN membership

The United Nations Security Council is scheduled to vote Friday on a Palestinian request for full UN membership, said diplomats, a move that Israel ally, the United States, is expected to block because it would effectively recognise a Palestinian State, Reuters reports.

The 15-member Council is due to vote at 3 p.m. (1900 GMT) Friday on a draft resolution that recommends to the 193-member UN General Assembly that “the State of Palestine be admitted to membership of the United Nations”, diplomats said.

A Council resolution needs at least nine votes in favour and no vetoes by the US, Britain, France, Russia or China to pass. Diplomats say the measure could have the support of up to 13 Council members, which would force the US to use its veto.

Council member, Algeria, which put forward the draft resolution, had requested a vote for Thursday afternoon to coincide with a Security Council meeting on the Middle East, which is expected to be attended by several ministers.

The United States has said that establishing an independent Palestinian state should happen through direct negotiations between the parties and not at the United Nations.

“We do not see that doing a resolution in the Security Council will necessarily get us to a place where we can find … a two-state solution moving forward,” US Ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield said on Wednesday.

The Palestinians are currently a non-member Observer State, a de facto recognition of statehood that was granted by the 193-member UN General Assembly in 2012. But an application to become a full UN member needs to be approved by the Security Council and then at least two-thirds of the General Assembly.

The UN Security Council has long endorsed a vision of two states living side by side within secure and recognised borders. Palestinians want a State in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip, all Territory captured by Israel in 1967.

Little progress has been made on achieving Palestinian statehood since the signing of the Oslo Accords between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in the early 1990s.

The Palestinian push for full UN membership comes six months into a war between Israel and Palestine in Gaza and as Israel is expanding settlements in the Occupied West Bank.



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