update deskIsrael-Palestinian Conflict

Israeli Cabinet rejects UN Palestinian statehood resolution

The government voted unanimously to reject the United Nations' decision to grant the Palestinian Authority unprecedented rights for a non-member state.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leads a Cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, April 17, 2024. Photo by Maayan Toaf/GPO.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leads a Cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, April 17, 2024. Photo by Maayan Toaf/GPO.

The Israeli government on Wednesday unanimously approved a proposal to oppose a U.N. resolution promoting recognition of a Palestinian state.

“No reward will be given for the terrible massacre of Oct. 7, which 80% of the Palestinians, both in the West Bank and in Gaza, support,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who initiated the proposal. “We will not allow them to establish a terrorist state from which they can attack us even more,” he added.

“No one will prevent us, Israel, from exercising our basic right to defend ourselves—not the U.N. General Assembly and not any other entity. We will stand together with our heads held high to defend our country,” he added.

The Cabinet approved three statements, signaling to the United Nations that it will not consider any resolution on the matter binding.

First, to “Reject the decision of the United Nations General Assembly of May 10, 2024 to upgrade the status of the Palestinian Authority and give it additional powers that are usually reserved for the member states of the United Nations.”

Second, “To state that the aforementioned decision does not change the status of the disputed areas, does not confer any rights, and does not detract from any rights of the State of Israel and the Jewish people in the Land of Israel.”

Finally, “To state that the aforementioned decision will not form a basis for future negotiations and has no purpose in promoting a peaceful solution.”

The government decision comes less than a week after the U.N. General Assembly voted 143-9 to give the Palestinians unprecedented rights for a non-member observer state, though stopping short of granting Palestinians full U.N. membership.

The resolution, which the United Arab Emirates pushed and which drew 25 abstentions in Friday’s vote, came after Washington’s veto last month of a UNSC resolution that would have accepted the Palestinian Authority’s long-dormant 2011 application for full membership in the global body.

The new rights do not give the Palestinians a vote in the General Assembly or seats in U.N. bodies, such as the Security Council.

The United States, Israel, Argentina, Chechia, Hungary, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau and Papua New Guinea voted against the resolution. The United Kingdom, Germany, Canada and Ukraine were among the notable abstentions.

During his speech prior to the vote, Gilad Erdan, the Israeli U.N. ambassador, shredded a copy of the U.N. Charter. He suggested that the General Assembly was circumventing the institution’s founding principles in granting exceptional status to the Palestinians.

The General Assembly was voting to “advance the establishment of a Palestinian terror state, which will be led by the Hitler of our times,” he said. Holding up a picture of Hamas leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar, he cited polls indicating that Hamas would take control in Judea and Samaria should new Palestinian elections be held.

“Soon-to-be-president Yahya Sinwar, tyrant of the state of Hamas, sponsored by the United Nations,” he said.

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