Nearly 140 countries voted in the U.N. on Thursday to recognize the Palestinian territories as a "nonmember observer state" over the strenuous objections of Israel and the U.S., marking a milestone with potentially far-reaching consequences for the decades-old Arab-Israeli conflict.
The 138-9 vote, with 41 abstentions, came on the 65th anniversary of the assembly's resolution calling for the partition of British mandate Palestine into Jewish and Arab states.
The new status, which is akin to the Vatican's own stature in the world body, marked a rare victory for the Fatah party's diplomatic path toward statehood after its rival Hamas's military strategy had taken the spotlight during the recent Gaza conflict.
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