French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabious has recently announced that France will vote in favour of granting Palestinians non-member status at the UN.
France's support comes as a major boost to Palestinian political efforts at gaining recognition through the UN. The French decision to back the Palestinians makes them the first major western power to officially do so.
The Palestinians were thwarted last year in a similar bid to gain recognition at the UN, with their proposal being vetoed and rejected by the UN security council. This time round the Palestinians have taken their cause to the General Assembly, which doesn't have a veto clause, and where majority votes decide an issue.
Both the US and Israel have voiced their opposition to the Palestinian move. A U.S. State Department spokeswoman made the following statement on the issue:
We do not think that this step is going to bring the Palestinian people any closer to a state, We think it is a mistake
The Palestinian move may have political repercussions in both the U.S. and Israel. The Houses of Congress in America may withhold money transfers to the Palestinian authority, while Israel may choose to block Palestinian tax revenues it collects and transfers to the Palestinian Authority as agreed under the Oslo Agreements.
Britain meanwhile has also voiced it's willingness to back the Palestinians at the UN, under the conditions that the Palestinians resume peace talks with Israel, and not go through with pursuing war crimes against the Israelis through the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice. The Palestinians will be able to apply for and join these international bodies once they become a non-member state at the UN.