(Reuters) – The Palestinian Authority circulated a draft resolution to U.N. member states on Wednesday that calls for upgrading its U.N. status to that of an “observer state” despite U.S. and Israeli suggestions that the Palestinians could face retaliatory moves.
The draft resolution, which could be put to a vote in the 193-nation U.N. General Assembly later this month, also reiterates the Palestinian Authority’s commitment to the “two-state solution” in which Israel and an independent Palestinian state would co-exist in peace.
If approved, the resolution would “accord to Palestine Observer State status in the United Nations system, without prejudice to the acquired rights, privileges and role of the Palestine Liberation Organization as the representative of the Palestinian people,” according to a draft obtained by Reuters.
The Palestinians are currently considered an observer “entity” at the United Nations. Acceptance of the Palestinians as a non-member state, similar to the Vatican’s U.N. status, would implicitly recognize Palestinian statehood.
The upgrade could also grant the Palestinians access to bodies like the International Criminal Court in The Hague, where they could file complaints against Israel.
The status upgrade seems certain to win approval in any vote in the General Assembly, which is composed mostly of post-colonial states historically sympathetic to the Palestinians. Palestinian diplomats also are courting European countries to further burnish their case.
Palestinian officials said last month they can count on around 115 “yes” votes in the General Assembly, mostly from Arab, African, Latin American and Asian states, and expect around 22 “no” votes, led by the United States, as well as 56 abstentions.
An Israeli official said earlier this week that if the Palestinians push on with the U.N. bid, Israel may cancel the Paris Protocol, a key economic accord it maintains with the cash-strapped Palestinian Authority.
The United States has also suggested that funding for the Palestinians – and possibly some funding for the United Nations – could be at risk if the Palestinians seek a U.N. upgrade.
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