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Interview: Benefits, risks poised in Palestinian bid to UN for membership

(Xinhua)

13:33, September 11, 2011

GAZA, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- The Palestinians will apply to the United Nations for a full membership as an independent state this month, which is regarded by the United States and Israel as a " unilateral move" and Washington threatened to veto the bid in the UN Security Council.

However, some believed that whether the Palestinians gain a full membership or an observer state in the UN, it would clarify the status of the disputed lands between Israel and the Palestinians, in the frame of 1967 borders, which will benefit them finally in conflicts with Israel.

Abdel Rahman Abu Nasser, the dean of the Law College of the Gaza-based al-Azhar University told Xinhua in an interview that the possibility of gaining a full membership in the UN Security Council, to be state No. 194, "gives the Palestinian state international legal guarantees."

"Palestine will be an occupied state established on the territories occupied by a foreign country like Israel in 1967," Abu Nasser said, adding that "such a recognition" would make establishing the Palestinian state and ending the Israeli occupation "international obligations."

The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) has been an observer in the UN without the right to vote, it's unclear whether the Palestinians would submit directly to the UN Security Council, or to the General Assembly.

According to UN regulations, if a country wants to become a full member of the UN, it should apply to the UN Security Council, and if the 15-member council accepted the request, it would be transmitted to the General Assembly.

Two thirds of the General Assembly members, or 129 out of the 193 countries have to vote in favor. However, the United State, as one of the five permanent powers in the Security Council, had clearly announced that it would veto the request.

"If the U.S. vetoed the request ... then the Palestinians would have the last choice of applying to the General Assembly," said Abu Nasser.

Abu Nasser stressed on the legal importance for the Palestinians to gain an international recognition of the right to establish a state on the 1967 territories, saying "such a decision will be considered an international reference for any future peace talks or a permanent peace deal to be reached with Israel. The decision will back the Palestinian position internationally within the frame of international law to stop settlement and the construction of the wall."

The law expert admitted that applying to the UN would bring some negative impacts on the position of the PLO. The UN would consider the Palestinian state as the representative of the Palestinians instead of the PLO.

The second negative impact that Abu Nasser warned of is the Palestinian refugees' right to return. Recognizing the Palestinian state on 1967 borders would deprive the Palestinians to return to the 1948 territories.

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