The UN General Assembly voted 138-9
with 41 countries abstaining Thursday to upgrade the Palestinian
status at the world organization to a non-member state, tacitly
acknowledging Palestine as a state.
The more than two-thirds majority in favour of the resolution is a triumph for the Palestinians and a diplomatic defeat for Israel, which failed to convince all but a handful of nations to join it in opposition.
With the outcome a foregone conclusion, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office did not even wait until passage took place before issuing a statement describing the vote as "a decision devoid of significance, which will not change anything on the ground."
"By going to the United Nations, the Palestinians have violated agreements with Israel, and Israel will respond accordingly," the statement said.
Addressing the General Assembly before the vote, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on the world body to issue a "birth certificate of the reality of the state of Palestine."
"It is time for action and the moment to move forward," he said.
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