Middle East

Palestine Wins Same U.N. Status as the Vatican

Palestinian Christians rallied in support of unilateral effort.

The United Nations's General Assembly voted today to grant the Palestinian Authority the same membership status as the Vatican.

The vote, which changes Palestine's U.N. observer status from "entity" to "non-member observer," represents a unilateral Palestinian bid to become an internationally recognized sovereign state. Both the United States and Israel voted against the change, citing the need for bilateral efforts in order to achieve peace in the region.

According to the Associated Press, the upgrade was approved "by a vote of 138-9 with 41 abstentions."

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reiterated U.S. opposition to the bid. "I have said many times that the path to a two-state solution that fulfills the aspirations of the Palestinian people is through Jerusalem and Ramallah, not New York," she told reporters.

Palestinian Christian leaders overwhelmingly favored the U.N. decision, sending a strong message of support earlier this month in a statement signed by 100 leaders.

"We believe the ...

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