Amid Gaza war, Palestinians resume bid to become UN member state

According to reports, the US may use its Security Council’s veto power to derail this recommendation.

United Nations:

The Palestinians have officially revived their application to become a full member state at the United Nations, according to a letter Tuesday from their UN envoy and seen by AFP.

The Palestinians, who have had observer status at the world body since 2012, have lobbied for years to gain full membership, which would be tantamount to recognition of a Palestinian state.

In a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Palestinian UN envoy Riyad Mansour requested “at the direction of the Palestinian leadership” that a 2011 application be reconsidered by the Security Council this month.

The letter has been sent to the council, according to documents seen by AFP.

Mansour has repeatedly said in recent months that UN membership was a priority for the Palestinians, in the face of Israel’s military offensive in the Gaza Strip in response to the Hamas attack on October 7.

Any request to become a member-state of the United Nations must first be recommended by the Council, then supported by a two-thirds majority in the General Assembly.

The 2011 application, initiated by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, never came before the Security Council for a vote, and the General Assembly voted to grant the Palestinians observer status in November 2012.

Observers believe the Palestinian push for membership is unlikely to reach the assembly because the United States, Israel’s closest ally, could use its Security Council veto power to derail the recommendation.

The League of Arab States, the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the Non-Aligned Movement sent a letter to Guterres on Tuesday, also seen by AFP, supporting the Palestinians’ bid.

“We wish to bring to your attention that, as of this date, 140 Member States have recognized the State of Palestine,” the joint letter said, which included a list of those countries.

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