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United Nations Headquarters, New York Alamy Stock Photo

Security Council to vote Thursday on Palestinian state UN membership

The Tánaiste said he will bring forward proposals for the Government to recognise the State of Palestine, once international discussions have concluded.

THE UNITED NATIONS Security Council will on Thursday vote on the Palestinians’ application to become a full UN member state, several diplomatic sources have told AFP.

Amid Israel’s military offensive in Gaza, the Palestinians in early April revived a membership application first made to the world body in 2011, though the veto-wielding United States has repeatedly expressed opposition to the proposal.

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

Tánaiste and Foreign Affairs Minister Micheál Martin has said that he will be bringing forward proposals for the Government to recognise the State of Palestine, once international discussions have concluded.

Martin said that Ireland was coordinating with other countries in relation to supporting Palestinian statehood. 

The Palestinian Ambassador to Ireland said that the recognition of Palestinian statehood would provide further support and affirmation of the Palestinian people’s rights. 

Dr Jilan Wahba Abdalmajid said that the attacks against Israel last October did not occur “out of thin air” and that the denial of Palestinians’ rights to statehood and self-determination is the root cause of the conflict. 

‘The Palestinian question’

Regional bloc the Arab Group issued a statement yesterday 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 “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 – Israel’s closest ally – could use its veto power to block the Security Council recommendation.

“We call on all members of the Security Council to vote in favor of the draft resolution… At the very least, we implore Council members not to obstruct this critical initiative,” the Arab Group said Tuesday.

The United States has voiced its opposition to full Palestinian membership, saying it backed statehood but only after negotiations with Israel, while pointing to US laws that would require cuts to UN funding if such a move took place without a bilateral agreement.


Need more clarity and context on what is happening in the Middle East? Check out our new FactCheck Knowledge Bank for essential reads and guides to finding good information online.