02:58 GMT +316 December 2018
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    A Palestinian demonstrator waves a Palestinian flag.

    Palestinians Claim Victory as 'Occupying' Israel Pulls Out of Bid For UNSC Seat

    © AP Photo / Bernat Armangue
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    Israel has withdrawn its bid for a non-permanent seat at the UN Security Council in 2019-2020. The Palestinian Foreign Ministry has described this development as a “victory.”

    “The withdrawal of Israel — an occupying power — from the race for a Security Council seat is a victory for humanitarian principles and values that are based on international law and the Charter of the United Nations,” the ministry said in a statement.  

    It went on to say that the withdrawal “unequivocally confirms that Israel is not qualified to compete for membership of the Security Council, which seeks to achieve world peace and security.”  

    The UN’s 15-nation body comprises five permanent members – Russia, China, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States – while others are picked for two-year stints. 

    Israel was in a three-way contest with Germany and Belgium for one of the two seats in the Western European and Others Group, which will be vacated by Sweden and the Netherlands.

    Israel has been seeking a temporary seat on the Security Council since 2000. It requires the vote of two-thirds of the 193 members of the UN General Assembly.  

    The Palestinian ministry, however, said it had been working with friendly countries and organizations to prevent Israel from gaining membership in the Security Council.  

    “The ministry worked from day one on exposing Israel’s invalidity to gain a seat in the Security Council and explained to all countries why Israel should not be allowed to have that seat,” Foreign Minister Riad Malki said in the statement.  

    Israel's decision to pull out of the race comes after the Security Council in April called for an inquiry into the deaths of Palestinians, including two journalists, in clashes with Israeli soldiers on the border with Gaza.

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    seat, United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR), Palestine
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