(JTA) — Nearly half of all European Union member states will vote in favor of upgrading the Palestinian Authority’s status at the United Nations, an EU spokeswoman reportedly said.
The news site EU Observer on Tuesday quoted the EU’s foreign affairs spokeswoman, Maja Kocijancic, as saying that “about 12” of the EU’s 27 member states will vote in favor of the Palestinian bid to gain observer state status on the basis of “the pre-1967 borders."
Last year, the U.N.’s cultural office, UNESCO, admitted “Palestine” as a member. Eleven EU countries — Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Slovenia and Spain — voted in favor. Another 11 abstained, and five — the Czech Republic, Germany, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Sweden — voted against.
Cyprus and Israel have since developed closer ties over joint exploration of natural gas in the Mediterranean Sea. But Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal left his post in a new coalition government this week.
Rosenthal’s successor, center-left politician Frans Timmermans, in the past has criticized the Dutch government’s pro-Israeli line.
In September 2011, Timmermans wrote on his Twitter account that “The Dutch policy in the Middle East is being determined by Israeli Benjamin Netanyahu,” Israel’s prime minister.