UN General Assembly set to vote on more rights for Palestinians

After a U.S. veto foiled the Palestinians' drive for full U.N. membership, the General Assembly is expected on Friday to grant them some additional rights in the global body — a symbolic win that has already irked Israel.

With the war in Gaza raging, the Palestinians in April relaunched a request dating back to 2011 to become full members of the United Nations, where their current status is a "non-member observer state."

To succeed, the initiative needed a Security Council green light and then a two-thirds majority vote in the General Assembly.

But the United States — one of five veto-holding members on the Security Council and Israel's closest ally — blocked it on April 18.

Now the Palestinians are turning to the General Assembly, where diplomats and observers say a resolution calling for their full U.N. membership is likely to win broad majority support.

The draft resolution, introduced by the United Arab Emirates, says "the State of Palestine is qualified for membership in the United Nations in accordance with article 4 of the Charter and should therefore be admitted."

It calls on the Security Council to "reconsider the matter favorably."

That is unlikely to occur, as the United States opposes any recognition of statehood outside of a bilateral accord between the Palestinians and Israel, whose current right-wing government is adamantly opposed to a two state solution.

"You could have a sort of diplomatic doom loop, with the Assembly repeatedly calling for the Council to grant Palestine membership and the U.S. vetoing it," said Richard Gowan, an analyst with the International Crisis Group.

The draft resolution nonetheless gives the Palestinians certain "additional rights and privileges" starting in...

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