Palestinians want April vote on full United Nations membership


(Reuters)-The Palestinian Authority wants the United Nations Security Council to vote this month to make it a full member of the world body, the Palestinian U.N. envoy told Reuters on Monday, a move that can be blocked by Israel’s ally the United States.

Riyad Mansour, who has permanent observer status in the U.N., made the Palestinian plans public as the war between Israel and Palestinian Hamas militants in Gaza nears a six-month milestone and Israel is expanding settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Mansour told Reuters that the aim was for the Security Council to take a decision at an April 18 ministerial meeting on the Middle East, but that a vote had yet to be scheduled. He said a 2011 Palestinian application for full membership was still pending because the 15-member council never took a formal decision.

“The intention is to put the application to a vote in the Security Council this month,” he added.

Malta is president of the Security Council for April. Malta’s U.N. Ambassador Vanessa Frazier said she had yet to receive a formal request for action from the Palestinians.

Alongside a push to end the war, global pressure has grown for a resumption of efforts to broker a two-state solution – with an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel.

The war began after Hamas fighters attacked Israel on Oct. 7, killing 1,200 people and seizing 253 hostages, according to Israeli tallies. Israel retaliated by imposing a total siege on Gaza, then launching an air and ground assault that has killed more than 32,000 Palestinians, health authorities in Gaza say.

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