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Legal implications of Palestinian non-member observer status at the UN

Nov 28, 2012


With overwhelming support from the developing world, the   Palestinians appear certain to earn approval in the 193-member  U.N. General Assembly for a status upgrade to "observer state"  on Thursday.

Israel and its main ally the United States oppose the move,  which would implicitly recognize Palestinian statehood....

Israel and the United States condemn the U.N. bid, saying  the only genuine route to statehood for the Palestinians is via  a peace agreement made in direct talks with Israel.

Talks however have been stalled for two years, mainly over  the issue of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, which have  expanded despite being deemed illegal by most of the world....

The change would allow the Palestinian territories to access  bodies like the International Crminal Court, which prosecutes  people for genocide, war crimes and other human rights  violations.

After Israeli, British and U.S. diplomats unsuccessfully  tried to persuade the Palestinians to drop their upgrade bid,  they focused on trying to get the Palestinians to guarantee that  they would forego complaining about Israel to the ICC....

The Palestinian U.N. observer, Riyad Mansour, said the Palestinians would not rush to sign up to the ICC if they win  the U.N. status upgrade. But seeking action against Israel in  the court would remain an option, he told a news conference at  the United Nations on Tuesday.

Mansour said that if Israel continued to violate  international law, particularly by building settlements in the  West Bank - territory Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East  War - then the Palestinians would consult with friends,  including Europe, on what to do next.

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Category: News Commentary

Dr. Stephen Jones

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