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NAM voices support for Palestine’s bid for full UN membership

The file photo shows the Palestinian flag hoisted in front of the UN headquarters in New York.

The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) has reaffirmed support for the full membership of the state of Palestine in the United Nations, saying the oppressed Palestinian nation should be given its rightful place in the world community.

In a Wednesday statement issued on behalf of the NAM, Es’haq Al-e-Habib, Iran’s deputy permanent representative to the UN, said the UN recognition in 2012 of Palestine as an observer state highlights “the international community’s longstanding, principled support for the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including to self-determination, independence, and for the two-state solution, based on the pre-1967 borders.”

The NAM “reaffirms support for the State of Palestine and to ensure its rightful place in the community of nations including by the achievement of admission to membership in the United Nations, in fulfillment of the application for full membership submitted by President Mahmoud Abbas on 23 September 2011, which remains pending before the Security Council,” the statement added.

In November 2012, the United Nations General Assembly voted to upgrade Palestine’s status from “non-member observer entity” to “non-member observer state” despite strong opposition from Israel.

Thanks to that status, Palestine has joined dozens of international organizations and agreements, among them the International Criminal Court and UNESCO.

Palestine’s flag was hoisted for the first time at the UN Headquarters in New York in September 2015.

The Palestinian president has expressed hope that 2017 would be “the year of the independent Palestinian state.”

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The campaign for full Palestinian membership to the UN comes against the backdrop of Israel’s efforts to absorb parts of the West Bank into what Tel Aviv promotes as a future state.

Palestinians are seeking to create an independent state in the territories of the West Bank, East Jerusalem al-Quds and the Gaza Strip, with East al-Quds as its capital.

Construction workers build new houses in the Israeli settlement of Kiryat Arba in the West Bank town of al Khalil on August 24, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Israel occupied the West Bank in the 1967 Six Day War. More than 400,000 Israeli settlers have been accommodated in 230 illegal settlements in the territory which is home to 2.6 million Palestinians. The unauthorized structures have hampered attempts to establish peace in the Middle East.

The international community has repeatedly warned that those settlers would have no place in a future Palestinian state and Israel should evacuate them.

In a landmark decision in December 2016, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution condemning all Israeli settlement construction on occupied Palestinian territories as a “flagrant violation of international law.” The resolution also demanded that Israel stop all such construction.

Israel, however, has defied the resolution and approved plans to build more illegal settlements in the occupied territories.

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