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CMEP Bulletin: Palestinian Statehood Recognized by UNGA

Written by Churches for Middle East Peace
December 3, 2012

UNGA Recognizes Palestinian Statehood

On Thursday, November 29, the United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to upgrade the Palestinian delegation’s observer status to a “non-member observer state.” In the weeks and days leading up to the vote, the United States and Israel looked for ways to stop it from taking place, issuing a number of threats including funding cuts, withholding tax revenue payments and increasing settlement construction. However the Palestinian delegation went forward and the resolution was passed with the support of 138 nations and 41 abstentions. Out of the 192 members of the UNGA, only nine countries voted against the resolution: the United States, Israel, Nauru, Palau, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Panama.

Members of the European Union were the focus of most Israeli and Palestinian lobbying before the vote. In the end, 14 of the European Union states abstained from voting and 12 voted for the upgrade in status. Germany reportedly “shocked” the Israeli Foreign Ministry by choosing to abstain instead of opposing the resolution. Germany and Netherlands and had been expected to vote in opposition. One senior German diplomat explained that his country decided to abstain after “the Israelis did not respond in any way to our request to make a gesture on settlements.”

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