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On November 29, 2012, the Palestinian National Authority secured a "non-member state observer status" at the UN General Assembly. The outcome was decided by a vote of the General Assembly members. The General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to recognize Palestine as a state despite strong opposition from both Israel and the US. 138 General Assembly members voted in favor of the resolution while only 9 voted against it. 41 member nations abstained from the vote. Palestine may now participate in the UN debates and may join UN agencies such as the International Criminal Court. Palestine's previous bid to gain membership of the UN and consequently be recognized as a state status without negotiating peace with Israel, failed last year in September 2011.

It was significant that the Palestinian Authorities chose "International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People" for the vote. The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared the vote "unfortunate and counter-productive" "unfortunate" but thousands of Palestinians celebrated in Ramallah in the West Bank and in other parts of Palestine. Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the move "meaningless".

On October 31, 2011, UNESCO had granted Palestine a full membership. The inclusion of Palestine in the United Nations agency was considered an endorsement of the international community of the long-standing efforts of Palestine to gain the status of an independent country. About 132 countries - almost two-thirds of the U.N. member states currently recognize the state of Palestine. Despite the opposition, US remained committed to a two-state solution. Ms Clinton said "We and our European partners agree on the most fundamental issues and share a common objective - two states living side-by-side living in peace and security".

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Last Updated on: October 1st, 2021