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At UN, Palestine Has Revised "Non Member State" Draft, Here, Prisoners Added

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, November 26, updated -- Three days before the UN General Assembly session at which Palestine's application for Observer State status is to be voted on, Palestine's Mission to the UN on Monday circulated a revised version of the draft resolution. Inner City Press has obtained the "Rev 1" and puts it online here.

  Back on November 8, Inner City Press similarly obtained and then exclusively put online Palestine's first draft resolution.

  The changes in today's "Rev 1" are marked in bold.

  The new draft adds the term "non-member" in the Operative Paragraphs, and moved the recognition of 132 states out of the Operative Paragraphs. It adds the issue of prisoners.

On November 21 after the Security Council issued a press statement on the Gaza ceasefire, Inner City Press asked US Ambassador Susan Rice about Palestine's application:

Inner City Press: I'm going to ask you a Gaza question although I definitely respect the right of people to ask a follow up to that [Benghazi]. I just wanted to ask you one-on Palestine, the controversy here at the UN about Palestine seeking observer state status. You heard Ambassador Loulichki say there's no relation between the fighting in Gaza and the vote, and Israel obviously said states should think again. The U.S. opposes the vote, but what effect do you think this week of fighting-do you agree that this shows that the Palestinian Authority has no control over Gaza? Should it make fewer states vote in favor of Palestine becoming a state observer at the UN?

Ambassador Rice: Well, I'll let other states comment on how they see the Palestinian bid for observer state status in the General Assembly. From the United States' point of view, we've been very clear. Our goal remains a negotiated, two-state solution. A Jewish democratic state of Israel living side by side in peace and security with an independent, viable Palestinian state. The only way to accomplish that in the real world is through direct negotiations, and we continue to urge the parties to come back to the table and to resume those direct negotiations. We view unilateral steps, including the bid for upgraded status to statehood-observer state status at the General Assembly-to be counterproductive and not take us closer to that goal, and, therefore, we strongly oppose it.

   That's a decidely minority view at the UN. But how will European Union members vote? We'll be here on November 29, and will have more on this before, during and after then. Watch this site.

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