Palestine Recognized by U.N. as a 'Non-Member Observer State,' Israel Retaliates By Approving New Settlements

#Politics

Sat, Dec 1st, 2012 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

As shown in the above map, currently making the rounds on social media networks, an overwhelming majority of U.N. members recognized Palestine as a non-member state.

The 193-member assembly voted 138 in favour of the plan, with only nine against and 41 abstentions. The scale of the defeat represented a strong and public repudiation for Israel and the US, who find themselves out of step with the rest of the world.

[...] Thursday's resolution raises Palestine from being a "non-member observer entity" to a "non-member observer state". The key is the final word, which confers UN legitimacy on Palestinian statehood and, while it cannot vote at the general assembly, it will enjoy other benefits, such as the chance to join international bodies such as the International Criminal Court (ICC).

While important, the resolution is limited, elevating Palestine only to the status of the Vatican, which until Thursday had been the only other non-member observer state. For Palestinians, the idea of an independent state bears little reality on the ground, given the degree of Israeli involvement in the West Bank and Gaza.

In response, Israel immediately approved new West Bank settlements:

Israel on Friday approved the construction of 3,000 homes in Jewish settlements on Israeli-occupied lands, a government official said, drawing swift condemnation from the Palestinians a day after their successful UN recognition bid.

Canada was among the countries that voted against the motion:

Baird temporarily recalled the envoys Friday to get their views on the implications of the UN General Assembly vote which granted status to the Palestinians as a non-member observer state.

The Harper government has made it clear, both privately and publicly, that the Palestinians would face repercussions for their pursuit of statehood.

The two most obvious options are severing diplomatic ties and suspending aid contributions to the Palestinian Authority.

See also: Nobody Knows Where Countries That Voted Against Palestine Are.

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