Israel approves new settlements ← Related Article Visit The Boston Globe Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Comment on this Scroll to top of page ATEF SAFADI/EPA The UN upgraded Palestine to nonmember observer state status, tacitly acknowledging Palestine as a state. ATEF SAFADI/EPA Palestinians watched on a screen as Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas spoke at the UN. ATEF SAFADI/EPA Palestinians waved their national flags as they celebrated. Adel Hana/AP The UN voted 138-9 with 41 abstentions to upgrade Palestine's status. Jason DeCrow/AP Images for Avaaz Abbas, center right, was embraced by the Turkish foreign minister after the vote. Majdi Mohammed/AP Palestinians waved posters of former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, left, and President Abbas, right.