PALESTINE has expressed its gratitude to Tanzania for its principled stand in voting in its favour to achieve non-member observer status in the United Nations.
Palestinian Ambassador to Tanzania, Dr Nasri Abujaish told reporters in Dar es Salaam yesterday that it was a remarkable achievement to all peace and freedom loving people all over the world.
"Yesterday (Thursday) November 29, 2012, 138 states voted in favour of Palestine. The vote is a long sought victory for Palestine which has at last been granted its 'birth certificate' after 65 years of resistance against Israeli occupation, confiscation, expulsion and genocide," he said.
According to news agencies, the resolution upgrading the Palestinian status to a non-member observer state at the United Nations was approved by more than two-thirds of the 193-member world body - a vote of 138 for, nine against and 41 abstentions.
Dr Abujaish said that Tanzania's voting had once again demonstrated the historic solidarity between the people of Tanzania and Palestine. He said it was a global victory for human rights, freedom, national self determination, peace and justice.
He said that with the vote, Israeli occupation was effectively defeated and the State of Palestine and the Palestinians had won and that it showed the world had sided with justice and peace and was against occupation.
"We now hope that with the enhancement of the State of Palestine, the UN Security Council will respond to the resolution submitted in 2011 to grant Palestine full membership in the UN and reaffirm its intention to achieve a two-state solution based on the pre-1967 borders," he said.
The Ambassador explained that with the new status, Palestine State was now ready to resume negotiation with Israel on issues of illegal settlements, Jerusalem, borders, refugees, water and other resources.
He stressed that Palestinians could now gain access to UN agencies and international bodies, particularly the International Criminal Court, which could become a facilitator to task Israel for alleged war crimes or its on-going settlement building on the war-won land.
Thursday's vote came on the same day, (November 29) in 1947 when the UN General Assembly voted to recognize a state in Palestine, though the jubilant revelers then were the Jews. The Palestinians rejected that partition plan and decades of tension and violence have followed.
Dr Abujaish said he was optimistic that in three months time, Israel would suffer its first case at the International Criminal Court after forensic tests on the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat pointed an accusing finger at them.
He said that Palestinians were convinced that Israel poisoned Mr Arafat and that they were certain Russia and Switzerland would unearth the truth. Joining the United States and Israel in the 'no' vote were Canada, the Czech Republic, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau and Panama.
Real independence, however, remains an elusive dream until the Palestinians negotiate a peace deal with the Israelis, who warned that the General Assembly action will only delay a lasting solution. Israel still controls the West Bank, East Jerusalem and access to Gaza. It has accused the Palestinians of by-passing negotiations in the campaign to upgrade their UN status.