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Israel summons envoys of Malta, countries that voted for full Palestinian UN status

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Israel will summon ambassadors of six of the 12 countries that voted for full Palestinian UN membership “for a protest talk”, eve after the United States vetoed the membership bid in the Security Council.

“The ambassadors of France, Japan, South Korea, Malta, Slovakia and Ecuador will be summoned tomorrow for a demarche, and a strong protest will be presented to them,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Oren Marmorstein wrote in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

“An identical protest will be presented to additional countries,” he noted, without specifying why all of the countries in the UN Security Council that voted in favour of the resolution – including China and Russia – were not mentioned in the statement.

The US vetoed the Palestinian membership bid on Friday, while the UK and Switzerland abstained.

“The unambiguous message that will be delivered to the ambassadors: A political gesture to the Palestinians and a call to recognize a Palestinian state – six months after the October 7 massacre – is a prize for terrorism,” Marmorstein added.

“It will also be clarified to the ambassadors that instead of making political gestures that reward the Hamas terrorist organization, the countries should apply pressure on Hamas to immediately release the 133 women and men being held hostage. The international pressure should be applied on Hamas, which perpetrated the largest massacre of Jews since the Holocaust and continues to reject every deal that would lead to the release of the hostages and a humanitarian pause for the residents of Gaza.”

In the past, the US said it would veto any council resolution supporting Palestinian membership, arguing that such membership should follow a peace agreement between Israel and Palestine.

Ian Borg: ‘Israel, Palestine must abide by UN Security Council ceasefire resolutions’

In March, Malta joined three other like-minded EU countries – Spain, Ireland and Slovenia – in a more concerted effort to grant Palestine full recognition. 

However, an attempt to grant Palestine UN membership – it currently has observer status – was blocked by the US at the Security Council. Malta joined 11 other UNSC members to vote in favour, while the UK and Switzerland abstained, and the US used its veto to block the resolution. 

Throughout April, Malta is assuming the presidency of the Security Council for the second time in its two-year membership stint on the UN’s highest decision-making body. 

It’s a presidency that comes at a turbulent time in the Middle East, with the Gaza conflict still waging on and risks of a regional conflict increasing by the day. 

Malta drafted the initial resolution adopted by the Security Council late last year, calling for extended humanitarian pauses to the Gaza conflict. It later helped coordinate a second resolution demanding a Ramadan ceasefire that would lead to a “lasting sustainable ceasefire”. 

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