United Nations Headquarters
United Nations HeadquartersThinkstock

Despite pressure from Arab countries, Israel was accepted on Thursday as a member in the United Nations space committee.

The decision to accept Israel to the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space passed by a majority of 117 votes in favor and one against and is a great victory for the Israeli delegation to the UN, especially after Syria exerted pressure in an attempt to prevent Israel’s entry.

Diplomat Hadas Meitzad, who led the efforts on behalf of the Israeli delegation to the United Nations said on Thursday, "This is an important victory for Israeli diplomacy. The advanced capabilities of the State of Israel in the field of space, combined with a complex and sensitive diplomatic process, resulted in Israel’s acceptance into the prestigious organization."

Israel's accession to the space committee involved complex and sensitive diplomatic maneuvering, as the Arab states have thwarted Israel's admission to the organization in the past.

Diplomatic pressure on the part of Israeli missions around the world, led by the Israeli delegation to the United Nations and the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, finally tipped the scales in favor of Israel.

The Israeli delegation to the United Nations responded to the move, saying, "Today's vote demonstrated that there are countries to which it is more important to condemn Israel than to contribute to the international community, such as Qatar which abstained in the vote on Israel’s acceptance [to the space committee]. The only country that opposed the vote is Namibia."

The UN’s space committee was founded in 1959, and includes 84 member states. It works to promote peace, security and technological development for the benefit of humanity through space exploration.