The UN vote on enhanced Palestinian statehood will pass with ease, and could well bring Israel back to the negotiating table, according to the Telegraph's Diplomatic Correspondent Alex Spillius (see video embedded below).
"The vote is going to be resoundingly supportive," he said. "It only needs a two-thirds majority out of 193 members of the U.N. General Assembly. It's going to get maybe 140, 150. It will pass very easily."
Spillius explained that this would place Palestine in a "non-member observer state" status with the United Nations, which is similar to the rank held by the Vatican. This is often the precursor to becoming a full state.
"It automatically gives the Palestinians access to various U.N. agencies," Spillius said, "including the International Criminal Court. You could say it's largely symbolic. They're not a full state and the U.S. will not support, Britain will very probably abstain with a few other leading countries, but nonetheless, it's going to send a very, very strong signal to Israel and to the U.S. that the rest of the world, much of the rest of the world, really wants things to change in Palestine."
The vote is scheduled for Thursday. Palestine's President Mahmoud Abbas delivered the membership application to a cheering general assembly in September 2011. One of the issues that Palestine wants resolved is Israel's construction of settlements into occupied Palestinian territory on the West Bank, but Spillius thinks that Palestine will not immediately take the action to the International Criminal Court, choosing instead to have Israel come to the negotiation table for settlement talks. The settlement talks have been on hold for approximately two years.