UN to vote over reviving Palestine’s bid for membership as Biden ‘pauses’ arms for Israel

President Joe Biden
President Joe Biden . . . a shipment of deadly bomb supplies bound for Israel "paused" in shock move. Image: AJ screenshot APR

Pacific Media Watch

The United Nations General Assembly is expected to vote later today on a resolution that would grant new “rights and privileges” to Palestine and that — again — calls on the UN Security Council to favourably reconsider Palestine’s request for full UN membership, reports Al Jazeera.

The US vetoed a widely backed resolution on April 18 that would have paved the way for full UN membership for Palestine, a goal that Israel has worked strenuously to prevent and Washington has been instrumental in blocking on behalf of its key ally.

The US Deputy Ambassador to the UN, Robert Wood, said yesterday that the Biden administration remained opposed to Palestinian membership.

During the April 18 vote, Palestine’s application received strong support with a vote of 12 in favour, the UK and Switzerland abstaining, and the US alone in voting no.

The State of Palestine appealed for support on Thursday, saying a vote for UN membership comes at “a critical moment for the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including the right to their independent State … [and] rightful place among the community of nations”.

Palestinians are facing a critical shortage of clean water as Israel continues air strikes on eastern Rafah and blocks humanitarian aid from entering the besieged enclave.

UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths has said that the Israeli military has not allowed anything or anyone to go in or get out of Gaza since its takeover of the Rafah crossing on Tuesday.

“The closure of the crossings means no fuel. It means no trucks, no generators, no water, no electricity and no movement of people or goods. It means no aid,” he said.

Hamas says ‘ball in Israel’s hands’
French news agency AFP is reporting that Hamas announced early Friday that its delegation attending Gaza ceasefire talks in Cairo had left the city for Qatar and stated that the “ball is now completely” in Israel’s hands.

“The negotiating delegation left Cairo heading to Doha. In practice, the occupation [Israel] rejected the proposal submitted by the mediators and raised objections to it on several central issues,” the group said in a statement, adding it stood by the ceasefire proposal.

“Accordingly, the ball is now completely in the hands of the occupation,” the group said.

According to Al Jazeera’s Patty Culhane, reporting on the US President Joe Biden’s exclusive interview with Erin Burnett this week with CNN, “We saw President Biden come out and say, ‘look, if they do this large-scale invasion of Rafah — there will be no bombs, no artillery shells, perhaps none of the technologies that turn dumb bombs into smart bombs’.

“And he is not just saying that it is going to happen. He is showing that it is already sort of happening.”

A shipment of bombs — 1800 900kg bombs that cause massive destruction and 1700 230kg bombs — due for delivery to Israel have been “paused”.

As student protests calling for an immediate ceasefire and divestment from universities in Israel spread around the globe, academics at two universities in New Zealand have condemned administrations for not standing up for their role as a “critic and conscience of society”.

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