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Palestinians aim to gain full UN member state status, but US law stands in their way

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Palestinian Ambassador to the United Nations Riyad Mansour is once again seeking full member state status at the UN, but Ramallah faces an uphill battle without support from the US, which has passed laws aimed at thwarting such an effort.

In an interview with The Times of Israel Monday, Mansour argued that the new initiative would “save the two-state solution” and serve as a counterweight to unilateral steps taken by Israel in East Jerusalem and the West Bank that have damaged prospects for the framework to eventually be implemented.

“Maybe it will help Israel by waking up its leaders to hold negotiations,” Mansour said.

The Palestinian envoy maintained that granting the State of Palestine full member status would also be consistent with the Biden administration’s policy to advance “practical measures” aimed at creating more fertile ground for a two-state solution in the absence of negotiations between the parties on final status issues.

But he recognized that convincing the US and other Security Council members to advance the initiative to the General Assembly for a vote would take much work.

Given the political sensitivity of such a move, Mansour refused to offer a timeline for when his office would formally submit a resolution to the Security Council, saying the Palestinians were still in consultations with various member states and that they would advance the measure “whenever we feel that the situation is ripe.”

This is not Ramallah’s first attempt to become a full UN member state. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas submitted an application to obtain the status in 2011, but the effort didn’t get past the Security Council, largely due to opposition from the Barack Obama administration.

Longstanding US policy has maintained that granting the Palestinians membership to UN agencies that recognize their state on East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip would serve as a counterproductive end-around to negotiations with Israel.

Abbas sufficed with seeking observer state status, which........

© The Times of Israel

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