The World Health Organization's top decision-making body voted Friday to grant Palestinians additional rights, echoing a similar decision this month by the United Nations General Assembly.

Countries gathered for this week's World Health Assembly, the annual gathering in Geneva of the WHO's 194 member states, overwhelmingly approved a draft resolution on "aligning the participation of Palestine" in the WHO with its participation in the United Nations.

A full 101 of the 177 countries with voting rights backed the text, with five opposed.

The resolution, presented by a group of mainly Arab and Muslim countries along with China, Nicaragua and Venezuela, called for the Palestinians, which already have observer status at the WHO, to be granted virtually all the same rights as full members.

The vote came after UN members voted in New York this month to grant Palestinians more rights in the global body, after their drive for full membership was blocked by the United States.

At the WHA in Geneva, Palestinian officials and their backers did not attempt to ask for full membership.

Several diplomatic sources suggested that was due to concern that a vote for Palestinian membership would trigger an automatic suspension of US funding to the WHO.

The text approved Friday instead handed the Palestinians, among other things, "the right to be seated among member states... the right to submit proposals and amendments... (and) to be elected as officers in the plenary and the main committees of the Health Assembly".

But it noted that "Palestine, in its capacity as an observer state, does not have the right to vote in the Health Assembly or to put forward its candidature to WHO's organs".

The Gaza war was sparked by Hamas's October 7 attack on southern Israel, which resulted in the deaths of 1,189 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli official figures.

Militants also took 252 hostages, 121 of whom remain in Gaza, including 37 the army says are dead.

Israel's retaliatory offensive has killed at least 36,224 people in Gaza, mostly civilians, according to the Hamas-run territory's health ministry.