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Palestinians expect to win improved UN status

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas stands in front of the U.N. General Assembly over one year ago, asking the body for recognition as a member state. Though Palestinians failed to win their bid last year, a vote on Thursday is expected to pass a resolution that would upgrade the Authority's U.N. status from "entity" to "non-member state." Though the US, Israel and a handful of others plan to vote against the resolution, about a dozen European powers say they'll support the bid. The move would give Palestinians access to the International Criminal Court and some other international bodies, should they choose to join them. (SOUNDBITE)(English) XAVIER ABU EID, COMMUNICATIONS ADVISER AT PALESTINE LIBERATION ORGANIZATION SAYING: "There are consequences within the international system if you are occupying another state which is a member of the same organisation, therefore we believe that the day after, Israel will have to weigh the consequences of their actions, a little bit more." The U.S. has threatened to cut much-needed funding to the West Bank should the resolution pass, and Israelis have also warned they might take significant deductions out of monthly transfers of duties that Israel collects on the Palestinians' behalf. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DORE GOLD, FORMER ADVISOR TO ISRAELI PRIME MINISTERBENJAMIN NETANYAHU, SAYING: "The Palestinians have clearly improved their position for taking certain measures in the future. For example, they can turn to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in the Hague and begin making all kinds of charges against Israeli officers." One major obstacle to Abbas's UN endeavour, Hamas, who control Gaza, unexpectedly offered their support earlier this week to the Palestinian Authority president.

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