Palestine Becomes UN Observer

In November 2012 the United Nations voted to give Palestine an observer status, although it is still not a full member of the world organization. More than 130 countries voted in favor of the decision, Israel and the United States were among the nations that voted against the proposal. In 2011 the Palestinians failed in their attempt to become a full member of the United Nations.  Although the decision is regarded by many as mere diplomatic, Palestinian speakers claim it is an important step to full Palestinian statehood.

In 1948 The United Nations wanted to divide Palestine into two nations: the Jewish state of Israel and a Palestinian state. The plan was rejected by Arabs and Palestinian leaders at that time. After decades of conflict a peace agreement was finally reached in 1993 in which Israel and the Palestinians recognized each other’s existence. For a long time, Arab leaders have been trying to get their own state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, areas that Israel seized during the six day war of 1967.

The new UN decision allows Palestinians to take part in UN debates and join other international bodies. However, it does not change the status of the Palestinians in the Middle East itself. Israel is still against full statehood, mostly because Israelis have been setting up new towns in the West Bank for the last 40 years.

Palestine President Abbas faces a series of problems at home, the biggest being the existence of the terrorist group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip and demands the destruction of Israel.

Currently, the peace process is at a standstill. But the vote in the UN shows that most nations of the world community want a two state solution in the Middle East.


Palstinian regions

Regions controlled by Palestinian authorities - TUBS


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  • although = while
  • attempt = try
  • body = organization
  • claim = to say officially
  • currently = right now
  • decade = a period of ten years
  • demand = want
  • destruction = to destroy something completely
  • existence  = the state of existing
  • fail = not succeed
  • however = but
  • in favor of = for
  • mere = only
  • nation = country, state
  • peace agreement = promise by both sides to want peace
  • proposal = plan, suggestion
  • reach = get
  • recognize = to officially accept
  • regard = look upon, consider
  • reject = to say no
  • seize = to take control of
  • standstill = here: without any progress; no movement
  • statehood = becoming an independent nation
  • status = condition, position
  • take part = join
  • two-state- solution = two separate and independent states
  • vote = to make a choice
  • West Bank = land west of the Jordan River and Dead Sea that Israel took control of in the Six Day War of 1967