UN Poised to Make Palestine a Non-Member State

US, Israel battle the change

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 29, 2012 6:34 AM CST

(Newser) – The United Nations will today vote on elevating Palestine's status from "entity" to "non-member state"—and the measure should sail through the General Assembly, Reuters reports. Developing countries are set to back the transition, as are more than a dozen European countries, including France and Spain. But the US and Israel are digging in against it: "The path to a two-state solution that fulfills the aspirations of the Palestinian people is through Jerusalem and Ramallah, not New York," Hillary Clinton said yesterday. "The only way to get a lasting solution is to commence direct negotiations."

Top US officials met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas yesterday to discuss the vote. Passage of the measure could prompt the US to limit Palestinian aid, says a State Department rep. For its part, Israel has threatened to take deductions from duties it passes to Palestine. The US fears a newly empowered Palestine would try to join the International Criminal Court, which Israel worries could prompt a probe into its behavior in occupied territories, the New York Times notes. Palestine could also join other UN agencies to which the US is a major contributor, prompting potential funding issues. Click through for more on US concerns.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, right, shakes hands with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at UN headquarters Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, right, shakes hands with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at UN headquarters Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012.   (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
A Palestinian boy holds a poster of Yasser Arafat as another holds a poster of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, right, during a rally supporting the Palestinian UN bid for observer state status.
A Palestinian boy holds a poster of Yasser Arafat as another holds a poster of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, right, during a rally supporting the Palestinian UN bid for observer state status.   (AP Photo/Nasser Shiyoukhi)
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