Palestinians cast first vote at United Nations

Palestinians cast their first vote at the United Nations Monday.

Ambassador Riyad Mansour, representing Palestine, voted in the election of a judge for the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

"This is a very, very special moment in the history of the struggle of the Palestinian people at the United Nations," Mansour told reporters Monday, according to Reuters

"It's a symbolic [step]," he added. "But it is an important one because it reflects that the international community, particularly the General Assembly, is hungry and waiting for the state of Palestine to become a full member of the United Nations."

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The vote is the Palestinian delegation’s first since the U.N. upgraded its status nearly a year ago to a nonmember state. 

At the time, the U.S. threatened to veto the attempt to become a full member.

As nonmembers, the Palestinians can participate in some assembly votes and join various international groups.

The Palestinians have not yet joined the International Criminal Court, but did join the U.N. agency focused on education, culture and science — UNESCO. As a result, the U.S. and Israel cut off funding to UNESCO, and the agency then suspended Israel’s and the U.S.’s voting rights.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State John Kerry is in the process of navigating peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians after kick-starting them in July.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he will meet with Kerry in Jerusalem Friday to discuss concerns over a potential deal on Iran’s nuclear program.