Israel withdrew Friday from the race for a seat on the U.N. Security Council. The reason for the withdrawal, an unnamed U.N. source told Reuters, was Israel’s low chances of winning. The Palestinian Foreign Ministry has released a statement rejoicing the Israeli withdrawal.

UN Security Council

UN Security Council Photo Credit: U.S. Department of State

On Friday, Israel withdrew from the race for two seats on the U.N. Security Council, leaving the other runners, Belgium and Germany, uncontested. A U.N. source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told Reuters that Israel withdrew because of its low winning chances.

The U.N. General Assembly is scheduled to vote next month on five new members for a two-year term that will start in January 2019. In order to win a seat, a country has to win two-thirds of the 193-country General Assembly votes. Israel was running against Belgium and Germany for two seats on the 2019-20 council, which were allocated to the Western European and Others Group.

Following the Israeli withdrawal, the Palestinian Foreign Affairs Ministry released a statement: “It is a win for the international law, the U.N. Charter and humanism. This is a clear message to all the countries that are not committed to U.N. Charter and the Security Council. A win to our efforts against Israel’s illegal and inhumane policy. There are only numerous countries that support Israel’s racist policy.”

Israel is the only Middle Eastern country that has never been a Security Council member. Richard Grenell, who was recently sworn in as the American ambassador to Germany, said that the US brokered a deal with the Western European and Other Groups to allow Israel an uncontested race for a seat at the Security Council. Back in March, Grenell tweeted about the subject saying, “Israel has waited 19 years! The US must demand that Europe keep its word.” At the time, German diplomats denied the existence of such an agreement and the Israeli mission to the U.N. declined to comment on Grenell’s tweet.