Israel has been accepted into the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space – 33 years after establishing its space agency.
117 nations voted in favour of Israel’s admission to the body, which governs the peaceful exploration of space to further humankind’s security and development. Only one nation, Namibia, voted against.
The successful vote in New York City – described as a “victory” for Israel –comes after prolonged opposition from Arab states, and was reportedly only came to fruition after “intensive diplomatic efforts”.
Representatives of Syria and the Arab Group have previously scuppered Israeli attempts to join the Vienna-based committee.
The state’s representatives at the UN have described the decision as a watershed moment, but criticised nations who “find it more important to bash Israel than to contribute to the international community”.
Qatar abstained on the vote, despite it doubling as a vote on its own acceptance to the committee.
Hadas Meitzad, the diplomat who successfully led negotiations on behalf on the Israeli Mission to the UN, said: “Israel’s advanced capabilities in the field of peaceful uses of outer space, combined with a delicate and complex diplomatic effort, granted Israel’s acceptance to this important committee. We look forward to working with our partners to advance this field further.”