PARIS (AFP) - Palestinians won a crucial vote to enter Unesco as a full member on Monday, scoring a symbolic victory in their battle for statehood and full membership in the UN General Assembly. "The general assembly decides to admit Palestine as a member of Unesco," said the resolution that was adopted to loud applause by 107 countries, with 14 voting against and 52 abstaining. Palestinian foreign minister Riyad al-Malki, who was at Unesco's Paris headquarters for the vote, hailed "a historic moment that gives Palestine back some of its rights," while Israel said the move damaged hopes for peace. "This is a unilateral Palestinian manoeuvre which will bring no change on the ground but further removes the possibility for a peace agreement," the Israeli foreign ministry said in a statement. France, which had voiced serious doubts about the motion, approved it along with almost all Arab, African, Latin American and Asian nations, including China and India. Israel, the United States, Canada, Australia and Germany voted against, while Japan and Britain abstained. The United States and Israel are set now to withdraw their funding from the UN cultural body, while other UN agencies may have to debate the thorny issue. UN leader Ban Ki-moon called for international action to maintain Unesco funding after the vote. Meanwhile, the United States said Monday it is stopping financial contributions to Unesco after the Palestinians were admitted to the organization as a full member. The United States also acknowledged that it could lose international influence as it would lose its right to vote in the UN Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization if it makes no payments over the next two years. "We were to have made a 60 million dollar payment to Unesco in November and we will not be making that payment," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters. Nuland said the Palestinian admission "triggers longstanding (US) legislative restrictions which will compel the United States to refrain from making contributions to Unesco." Nuland echoed earlier remarks by the White House which said Unesco's admission of the Palestinians as a full member was "premature" and undermined international peace efforts and hopes of direct talks on a Palestinian state. Nuland said the United States is aware its own interests could be undermined by its withholding funding to Unesco. "Under Unesco's constitution, a member state will have no vote in the general conference if it gets more than two years in arrears in its contribution. So our actual arrearage status will begin in January," she said. "We now need to have consultations with Congress," she said. "Not paying our dues into these organizations could severely restrict and reduce our ability to influence them, our ability to act within them, and we think this affects US interests," Nuland said. "So we need to have conversations with Congress about what options might be available to protect our interests," she said, declining to elaborate. She conceded that one option would be to gain some sort of flexibility where Washington can still fund Unesco. Nuland said the United States is also concerned it could lose influence with other UN organizations if the Palestinians are admitted to them as a full member and Washington is automatically forced to withhold funds. "We are very concerned about it, which is why we didn't want it to happen in the first place and why we're concerned about this move being replicated in other UN agencies," she said.