Israel says it stopped full Palestinian membership at UN

Israel says its persuasion campaign with UN member states has dropped the Palestinian Authority’s bid to gain full membership.

By David Jablinowitz, World Israel News

Israel announced Sunday that it had blocked an upcoming bid by the Palestinians to gain full membership at the United Nations. Last month, Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said that he would seek full membership.

Israel’s Ambassador to the U.N. Danny Danon said he started lobbying member states, including several Security Council members ,in recent weeks to prevent the move. Danon’s argument was that the Palestinians did not meet the conditions of full U.N. membership, in part due to its payments to terrorists.

“We exposed the hypocrisy of the Palestinians,” Danon said in a statement. “They continue to pay terrorists every month and to encourage violence and incitement against Israel; therefore, they are very far from meeting the definition of a peace-loving state,” trying instead, according to the Israeli envoy, “to establish facts on the ground through unilateral moves while it has not abandoned the path of terror.”

The Israeli mission says that Danon’s persuasion efforts with other countries have saved the U.S. from having to veto such a resolution if it reached the Security Council. The Trump administration is seen as trying to avoid any new confrontations at the world body before a new ambassador is approved in Washington to replace Nikki Haley, who stepped down at the end of 2018.

In the meantime, Israel says that the Palestinians now understand that the chances of their proposal for a full upgrade making any progress have disappeared. The Palestinians did manage to upgrade their status at the United Nations General Assembly in 2012 to that of Non-Member Observer State status.

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Earlier this week, the Security Council president for January, Jose Singer of the Dominican Republic, told reporters that he had not received a letter from the Palestinians regarding a request for an upgrade to their U.N. status.

A visit to the U.N. by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and al-Maliki is expected around the time of the Security Council’s quarterly debate on the Middle East on January 15.