The Palestinian Authority is expected achieve the status of ‘non-member state’ in the UN.
Voting will take place in the General Assembly, whose 193 members could make Palestine the 194th.
Full UN membership was blocked by the UN Security Council last year, but this time Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is confident about achieving the necessary majority vote, despite opposition from the US and Israel.
Becoming a ‘non-member state’ would give the Palestinians access to the international criminal court, a factor that Tel Aviv may be thinking about after the recent conflict in the Gaza Strip.
“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 more,” said Commuications advisor to the PLO Xavier Abu Eid.
The UN’s decision will not change the relationship between Israel and the Palestinian authority, according to Dore Gold, a former advisor to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“One does not have to exaggerate what this resolution does to the status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip – it does absolutely nothing… This has no implication for the IDF, the settlements, for all the issues that we have disagreed about with the Palestinian side,” said Gold.
Both the Israelis and Americans are urging Abbas to concentrate on the stalled Middle East peace process, with Tel Aviv even saying the UN move would undermine any hope for a peace deal.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared defiant and said: “I have a simple message for those gathered in the General Assembly today. No decision in the UN can break the 4,000 year old bond between the people of Israel and the land of Israel.”
Thursday’s vote at the UN in New York takes place on what is also Palestinian Solidarity Day.