Israel says it stopped Palestinian bid for full UN membership

Israel announced Sunday that it had blocked an upcoming bid by the Palestinians to gain full membership at the United Nations — saving the U.S. from having to veto such a push if it came before the Security Council.

It was just last month that Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said he would seek full membership this month to the world body.

However, Israel’s U.N. Ambassador Danny Danon started lobbying U.N. member states and several Security Council members in recent weeks to prevent such a push. Danon had made it clear to those with whom he spoke that the Palestinians did not meet the conditions of full U.N. membership, in part due to its payments to terrorists.

“We exposed the hypocrisy of the Palestinians,” Danon said in a statement. “They continue to pay terrorists every month and to encourage violence and incitement against Israel; therefore, they are very far from meeting the definition of a “peace loving” state. The [Palestinian Authority] continues to error in its attempt to establish facts on the ground through unilateral moves while it has not abandoned the path of terror.”

The Israeli mission said the Palestinians now understand that the chances of the proposal passing have gone, and they are shelving the plan to promote the status upgrade. A visit from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and al-Maliki to the United Nations is expected to take place around the time of the Security Council’s quarterly debate on the Middle East on January 15.