The United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on Monday voted overwhelmingly in favor of recognizing "Palestine" as an independent state.
The vote makes "Palestine" an official member state of the UNESCO General Assembly, and puts it one step closer to overall UN recognition.
Voting against the motion were the US, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands and Israel, along with nine other nations. One hundred and seven nations voted in favor, including Brazil, Russia, China, India, South Africa, Austria and France. Notable among the 52 abstentions were Britain and Italy.
Following the vote, the Obama Administration froze US funding of UNESCO, and Canada announced that it would reconsider its membership in the body.
The US, Canada and a handful of European nations have firmly supported Israel's campaign to stop the Palestinians from obtaining unilateral recognition by the UN.
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas officially petitioned the UN for membership status for "Palestine" back in September. The UN Security Council is scheduled to vote on Palestinian statehood later this month, but the US has threatened to use its veto power to squash the motion.
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