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India supports UN resolution backing Palestinian bid for full membership

Visual of UN General Assembly (Photo: Reuters)

A resolution was passed in the United Nations with an overwhelming majority, supporting full membership of Palestine and pressing the Security Council to give “favourable consideration” to the bid, CNN reported.

The resolution on Friday won a resounding majority of 143 votes in favour, including by India. 25 countries abstained, while nine nations, including Israel and the United States, voted against the text.

Other nations that voted against the resolution were: Czechia, Hungary, Argentina, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea and

The text, put forward by the United Arab Emirates, grants new privileges to the Palestinian Authority in its current capacity as a non-member observer state, and calls for the UN Security Council – which must rule on Palestinian membership – to “reconsider the matter favourably.”

“The State of Palestine is qualified for membership in the United Nations,” it asserts.

Notably, India has always reiterated its stand for a two-state solution in the Israel-Palestine conflict. While, New Delhi has condemned any terrorist attack, including the October 7 attack by Hamas, it has also called for a homeland for Palestinians.

“We have supported a negotiated two-state solution, towards establishment of a sovereign, independent and viable state of Palestine within secure and recognised borders, living side by side in peace with Israel,” the Ministry of External Affairs reiterated in the Parliament in February.

In his remarks before voting on Friday, Palestinian ambassador Riyad Mansour elaborated on the plight of Palestinians in war-torn Gaza.

“As we speak, 1.4 million Palestinians in Rafah wonder if they will survive today,” he told the assembly, referring to Israeli threats of a major attack on the densely populated city in southern Gaza, as reported by CNN.

He also thanked protesters on US university campuses and abroad who have demonstrated against the Israel-Hamas war.

“Our flag flies high and proud in Palestine and across the globe, and on the campus of Columbia University. It has become a symbol by all those who believe in freedom and is just ruled by all those who can no longer stand idly by in the face of such utter injustice,” Mansour said.

Israel foreign minister Israel Katz quickly condemned the resolution’s passage, describing it as an “absurd decision” that highlights “the structural bias of the UN” and rewards the actions of Hamas on October 7.

“The message that the UN is sending to our suffering region: violence pays off,” he said. “The decision to upgrade the status of Palestinians in the UN is a prize for Hamas terrorists after they committed the largest massacre of Jews since the Holocaust.”

It is pertinent to note that while a General Assembly vote cannot confer UN membership, the approved resolution does endow the Palestinian Authority with new procedural rights and privileges, CNN reported.

Though, only member states can vote, the Palestinian Authority can now be seated among member states in alphabetical order, submit and introduce proposals and amendments, and co-sponsor proposals and amendments.

It can also make statements and explanations of votes. It has the right to reply on behalf of a group within the UN. The Palestinian Authority can also request proposals to be put to a vote and request items to be put on the UNGA’s provisional agenda.

Mansour further stated that the Palestinian Authority will now request full membership from the Security Council.

However, the US has already warned that it will likely veto such a request in the Security Council – a replay of its April veto of an earlier Palestinian membership request.

Following the general assembly vote on Friday, US Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations Robert Wood described the resolution text as “unproductive,” saying a “durable peace” in the Middle East would mean bundling the two-state solution with other elements, as reported by CNN.

“Gaza cannot be a platform for terrorism, that there should be no Israeli reoccupation of Gaza and that the size of Gaza’s territory should not be reduced,” he said.

Wood also suggested that the United Nations was the wrong forum for consideration of Palestinian statehood, telling the General Assembly that “it remains the US view that the most expeditious path toward statehood and UN membership for the Palestinian people is through direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian authority.”