In an extraordinary lineup of international support at the General Assembly Abbas claimed what he called a UN “birth certificate” for a Palestinian state and got the backing of 138 countries in the 193 member assembly. Nine voted against and 41 abstained.
Becoming a ‘non-member state’ which sparked scenes of joy in the occupied West Bank where thousands rejoiced with bursts of gunfire and cheers in the city of Ramallah.gives the Palestinians access to the international criminal court, a factor that Tel Aviv may be thinking about after the recent conflict in the Gaza Strip.
The vote upgrades the Palestinian Authority from an observer entity to a “non-member observer state” similar to the Vatican.
US Ambassador to the UN Sudan Rice said after the vote that recognized Palestine as an observer “does not establish that Palestine is a state.”
“Today’s grand pronouncements will soon fade. And the Palestinian people will wake up tomorrow and find that little about their lives has changed, save that the prospects of a durable peace have only receded,” Susan Rice said.
The US government has warned Abbas jeopardizes losing almost $200 million in aid, which is blocked in the US Congress.
Full UN membership was blocked by the UN Security Council last year, but this time Palestinian President Mohamoud Abbas was confident about achieving the necessary majority vote, despite opposition from the US and Israel.
Hashi Hassan Urdoh