UNITED NATIONS: The Palestinians want the Security Council to vote later this month on their revived request for full membership in the United Nations, despite the United States reiterating Wednesday that Israel and the Palestinians must first negotiate a peace agreement.

Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian UN ambassador, said 140 countries recognize the state of Palestine, and “we believe it is high time now for our state to become a full member at the United Nations.”

The Palestinians are making a fresh bid for UN membership as the war between Israel and Hamas that began Oct. 7 nears its sixth month, putting the unresolved decades-old Palestinian-Israeli conflict in the spotlight after years on the back burner.

During the Cold War between the former Soviet Union and the United States, Mansour said, countries were blocked from joining the U.N., but they all eventually became members, including North Korea. The U.S. doesn’t recognize North Korea but didn’t block its admission, he said, and asked why conditions should be placed on Palestinian membership.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas delivered the Palestinian Authority’s application to become the 194th member of the United Nations to then Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Sept. 23, 2011, before addressing world leaders at the General Assembly.

That bid failed because the Palestinians failed to get the required support of nine of the Security Council’s 15 members. Even if they did, the United States, Israel’s closest ally, had promised at that time to veto any council resolution endorsing Palestinian membership, saying this should follow a negotiated peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.

The Palestinians then went to the 193-member General Assembly, where there are no vetoes, and by more than a two-thirds majority succeeded in having their status raised from a U.N. observer to a non-member observer state in November 2012.

Mansour asked the Security Council on Tuesday to consider during April the Palestinians’ renewed application for membership, which was supported by the 22-nation Arab Group at the United Nations, the 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and the 120-member Nonaligned Movement.

He told several journalists Wednesday that he expects the council’s Standing Committee on New Members, which includes all 15 council nations, to meet behind closed doors to consider the application before the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan on April 9.

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