Hamas Welcomes UN Palestine State Vote
The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas hailed the UN General Assembly’s vote to grant the Palestinians an upgraded status of non-member observer state, calling it a “victory.”
“This is a new victory on the road to the liberation of Palestine and return and we congratulate ourselves,” said a senior Hamas official, Ahmed Yussef, on Friday.
“We in Hamas consider this a shared achievement that casts joy on our people,” he added.
On November 26, Hamas Political Bureau Chief Khaled Meshaal voiced support for acting Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas in his bid for an upgraded status at the United Nations.
On Thursday, the 193-member General Assembly voted 138-9 with 41 abstentions at the United Nations for a resolution approving the upgrade. Nine countries, including Canada, ‘Israel’, and the United States, voted against it.
Hundreds of Palestinians streamed out into the streets of the Gaza Strip and the occupied West Bank to celebrate the upgrade.
Acting Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas also said that, “Indeed today is a historic day. Today we have really taken a step on the path to Palestinian independence.”
“We have a long road and difficult road ahead of us. I don’t want to spoil our victory tonight but the road ahead is still difficult,” he said, adding, “Tomorrow we begin the real war.”
The UN General Assembly on Thursday overwhelmingly voted to make Palestine a non-member observer state, inflicting a major diplomatic defeat on the United States and the Zionist entity.
Palestinian Authority Chief Abbas considered the move at the UN a “birth certificate” for a Palestinian state and got the backing of 138 countries in the 193-member assembly. Nine voted against and 41 abstained, while five did not participate.
A Palestinian flag was unfurled in the General Assembly as the victory was pronounced.
The vote lifts the Palestinian Authority from an observer entity to a non-member observer state”on a par with the Vatican.
Palestine has no vote in the General Assembly but can now join UN agencies and potentially the International Criminal Court (ICC), where it could ask for a probe of Israeli actions, including during the recent offensive against Gaza.
Abbas said he hoped to use the status upgrade as a launch pad for renewed direct talks with the Zionist entity — frozen for more than two years — calling the resolution “the last chance to save the two-state solution.”
In a 22-minute speech Abbas said time for an accord is running out. “The rope of patience is shortening and hope is withering.”
Afterwards, he said the vote had been “historic.”
“Tomorrow we begin the real war,” Abbas said at a celebration reception. “We have a long road and difficult road ahead of us. I don’t want to spoil our victory tonight, but the road ahead is still difficult.”
WASHINGTON, TEL AVIV CONDEMN
The United States and the Zionist entity immediately condemned the vote, which US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called “counterproductive.”
US Ambassador Susan Rice sternly told the General Assembly that the resolution would be “an obstacle to peace” because it would not lead to a return to direct talks between the Israelis and Palestinians.
“Today’s grand pronouncements will soon fade. And the Palestinian people will wake up tomorrow and find that little about their lives has changed, save that the prospects of a durable peace have only receded,” she said.
The United States blocked a Palestinian application for full UN membership — made by Abbas in September 2011 — at the Security Council.
For his part, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed Abbas’s address. “The world watched a defamatory and venomous speech that was full of mendacious propaganda,” his office said.
Israeli UN Ambassador Ron Prosor said recognizing Palestine “will place further obstacles and preconditions to negotiations and peace,” and could even lead to further violence.
View country by country recorded votes here.
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