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UN committee says divided on Palestinian bid

Decision by council's admissions committee brings Palestinians' push for UN recognition one step closer to collapse.

by Louis Charbonneau, Reuters

November 11, 2011 | 11:19 am

A wide view of the United Nations Security Council at a meeting on the situation in Israel and the Palestinian territories on Aug. 25. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz

A wide view of the United Nations Security Council at a meeting on the situation in Israel and the Palestinian territories on Aug. 25. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz

A U.N. Security Council committee said Friday it had failed to reach agreement over a Palestinian application for full membership in the United Nations, the Portuguese U.N. ambassador said.

The decision by the council’s admissions committee brought the Palestinian Authority’s push for U.N. recognition of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, one step closer to collapse.

It is now up to Palestinians, who have so far been unable to secure the nine votes needed to pass a Security Council resolution favoring their U.N. bid, to decide whether or not to call a vote on their application.

The Palestinians currently have only eight supporters, diplomats say. If the Palestinian delegation chooses to force a vote without securing nine votes, the United States would not need to use its veto power to block it.

A draft report of the committee, which includes all 15 council members, detailed the deadlock among council members. Now that the committee has formally approved it, the issue will revert back to the Security Council.

“The Council will receive the report and will discuss any future initiative,” said Portuguese envoy Jose Filipe Moraes Cabral, council president for November.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas applied for full U.N. membership for the state of Palestine on September 23.

Israel and the United States oppose the Palestinian bid for membership and recognition of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem as its capital, saying it is aimed at de-legitimizing Israel. They say the only way Palestine can get statehood is via peace talks with Israel.

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