Mahmoud Abbas PalestineMahmoud Abbas at the United Nations today

UPDATE: Palestine has won the vote to become a non-member observer state by 138 Yes to 9 No.There were 41 countries that did not vote.

EARLIER: The United Nations General Assembly is due to vote this afternoon on whether to include Palestine as a non-member observer state.

You can watch the vote proceedings live here >

The vote is widely expected to be won by Palestine, with the few notable negative votes expected to come from the United States, Canada, and Israel.

A large number of states have declined to vote at all, while a number of European countries — including France, Spain and Switzerland — are expected to support the vote.

The vote has been taken as an implicit recognition of Palestinian statehood, giving Palestine the same status as the Vatican, and its supporters say it will be a key stepping stone for a 2-state solution. The United States and Israel have threatened to cut off funds for the Palestinian Authority by withholding funds for the West Bank government if the vote is won, NBC News reports.

The New York Times notes that the vote is taking place exactly 65 years after the General Assembly voted to divide the former British Mandate of Palestine into two states, one Jewish and the other Arab.

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