UN General Assembly supports Palestinian bid for full membership

The United Nations General Assembly on Friday overwhelmingly supported the Palestinian bid to become a full U.N. member, recognizing it as qualified to join and recommending the U.N. Security Council “reconsider the matter favorably.”

This decision comes despite a veto by the United States in the Security Council last month. The 193-member assembly passed a resolution with 143 votes in favor and nine against, including the U.S. and Israel, with 25 countries abstaining. While this resolution does not grant the Palestinians full U.N. membership, it acknowledges their qualification for such status.

The resolution states, “the State of Palestine … should therefore be admitted to membership” and “recommends that the Security Council reconsider the matter favorably.”

This push for full membership occurs amid ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza and as Israel expands settlements in the occupied West Bank, which the U.N. deems illegal.

“A yes vote is a vote for Palestinian existence, it is not against any state. … It is an investment in peace,” said Palestinian U.N. Ambassador Riyad Mansour before the vote, which drew applause from the assembly.

However, U.N. Ambassador Gilad Erdan from Israel accused the assembly of violating the U.N. Charter, symbolically shredding a copy of the Charter during his speech. “As long as so many of you are ‘Jew-hating,’ you don’t really care that the Palestinians are not ‘peace-loving’,” Erdan stated, concluding with “Shame on you.”

For a state to achieve full U.N. membership, approval from both the 15-member Security Council and the General Assembly is required. Should this measure reach the Security Council again, it is likely to encounter a U.S. veto.