U.N. votes to upgrade Palestine's status
In a vote at the United Nations in New York on Thursday, the body granted Palestine the title of "non-member observer state". Palestinians celebrated the outcome, while the United States and Israel denounced it.
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At least 17 European nations voted in favor of the Palestinian resolution, including Austria, France, Italy, Norway and Spain. Abbas had focused his lobbying efforts on Europe, which supplies much of the aid the Palestinian Authority relies on. Britain, Germany and others chose to abstain.Skip to next paragraph
In Pictures The West Bank: life under the PA
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Peace talks have been stalled for two years, mainly over Israeli settlements in the West Bank, which have expanded despite being deemed illegal by most of the world. There are 4.3 million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.
After the vote, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice called for the immediate resumption of peace talks.
"The Palestinian people will wake up tomorrow and find that little about their lives has changed save that the prospects of a durable peace have only receded," she said.
She added that both parties should "avoid any further provocative actions in the region, in New York or elsewhere."
Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said he hoped all sides would use the vote to push for new breakthroughs in the peace process.
"I hope there will be no punitive measures," Fayyad told Reuters in Washington, where he was attending a conference.
"I hope that some reason will prevail and the opportunity will be taken to take advantage of what happened today in favor of getting a political process moving," he said.
"We believe the window for the two-state solution is closing," he said. "That is why we are encouraging the United States and other key international actors to grasp this opportunity and use the next 12 months as a way to really break through this impasse."