UNESCO gives Palestinians full membership 31 Oct 11

A Palestinian flag flutters during a rally celebrating the release of prisoners from Israeli jails, in Gaza City October 18, 2011.

(Reuters) – The United Nations’ cultural agency decided on Monday to give the Palestinians full membership of the body, a vote that will boost their bid for recognition as a state at the United Nations.

UNESCO is the first U.N. agency the Palestinians have sought to join as a full member since President Mahmoud Abbas applied for full membership of the United Nations on September 23.

The United States, Canada and Germany voted against Palestinian membership. Brazil, Russia, China, India, South Africa and France voted in favor. Britain abstained.