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Published on : Thursday, September 14, 2017
The UNWTO was expected to approve the PA’s membership at its General Assembly in China this week, but at the last moment, and after Israel anticipated defeat, the Palestinians agreed to delay the issue until the UN agency’s next General Assembly in 2019.
To quote the Foreign Ministry, “This achievement was the result of a large Israeli effort.” It credited the positive outcome to Tourism Minister Yariv Levin, who is in China heading an Israeli delegation. It said that other countries were also involved.
The request was part of the PA’s campaign to secure unilateral recognition of statehood in world bodies, including at the UN. Given the pro-Palestinian majority at the UN, Israel is often at the losing end of such PA proposals or resolutions.
The Trump administration has asked the Palestinians to refrain from such steps and so that it can move forward on a renewed peace effort. The PA is considering a renewed push to become full-fledged members of the UN, a move that would need the approval of the Security Council.
The Palestinians will require the approval of nine of the Security Council’s 15 members. It’s assumed that the US would use its veto power to block such a move.