UNITED NATIONS: The United Nations Security Council said Monday that it would decide this month on the Palestinians' bid for full UN membership, with the longshot campaign unlikely to survive US opposition.

As the Gaza war rages on into its seventh month, the council's move was described as "historic" by the Palestinians, but angrily denounced by Israel.

Maltese Ambassador Vanessa Frazier, who holds the rotating presidency of the council, said that "the council has decided that this deliberation has to take place during the month of April."

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Any request to become a UN member state must first pass a vote by the Security Council -- where Israel's ally the United States wields a veto -- and then be endorsed by the General Assembly.

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

"Today is a historic moment," Palestinian UN envoy Riyad Mansour told reporters Monday as the Security Council started the review process after the Palestinians last week relaunched its formal 2011 bid.

"All we ask for is to take our rightful place among the community of nations, to be treated as equals, equals to other nations and states to live in freedom and dignity in peace and security in our ancestral land," Mansour said in the general Assembly.

But Israel's UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan launched bitter criticism from the assembly podium.

"The Security Council is busy right now discussing the recognition of a 'PalestiNazi' state instead of designating Hamas as a terror organization. This will be the vilest reward of the vilest crimes," he said.

The Gaza war was sparked by the October 7 attack against Israel by Hamas militants that resulted in the deaths of 1,170 people, mostly civilians, Israeli figures show.

Palestinian militants also took more than 250 Israeli and foreign hostages, 129 of whom remain in Gaza, including 34 the army says are dead.

Israel's retaliatory offensive has killed at least 33,207 people in Gaza, mostly women and children, according to the health ministry in the Hamas-run territory.

"The Security Council is deliberating granting the perpetrators and supporters of October 7 full membership status in the UN," said Erdan.

"The very fact this discussion is even being held, it's already a victory for genocidal terror."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has for decades resisted creation of a Palestinian state and leads a far-right government with members hostile to the Palestinian Authority, which holds limited autonomy in sections of the West Bank.

And under US legislation, the United States is required to cut off funding to UN agencies that give full membership to a Palestinian state.

The Palestinians' campaign faces decisive US opposition in the UN Security Council. Washington previously opposed the effort when it was raised in 2011.

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Truthisbitter813 Apr 09, 2024 09:42am
Invoke Article 6 and kick the bully out!
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