A Palestinian Authority official warned Thursday that the region could be headed
toward “violence and anarchy” because of the failure of the Palestinian
PA officials in Ramallah refused to say what they were
planning to do now that the bid at the UN Security Council seems to have
Facing budget crunch, UNESCO suspends all spending
PA unlikely to ask for full UN membership
A UN Security Council subcommittee is expected to report Friday
that the PA does not have the nine votes it needs to assure the council’s
approval of its request for full UN membership.
According to the
subcommittee, at least seven of the body’s 15 members won’t vote in support of
the measure. Among them are the US, which will oppose it, and the United
Kingdom and France, which will abstain.
The US had planned to veto the
measure if it passed the Security Council.
But the PA pushed forward
anyway, seeking to score a moral victory by securing the necessary backing and
showing that the US was isolated in its support of Israel.
inability to achieve this support weakens its president, Mahmoud
Nimer Hammad, political adviser to Abbas, said that the Arab
League foreign ministers would meet in the coming days to discuss the
repercussions of the statehood bid’s failure at the Security Council.
said the Arab League would discuss the options facing the PA now, but did not
PA officials on Thursday expressed outrage with the US
administration, Britain and France for opposing the statehood bid.
Americans, British and French leaders are hypocrites and liars,” the official
told The Jerusalem Post. “They are not any better than [Prime Minister Binyamin]
It remains unclear if the PA will now turn to the UN General
Assembly and ask for observer status – a move that would give it de facto
international recognition as a state, but with very limited
Another official told the Post that Abbas was facing growing
demands from Palestinians to dissolve the PA and “throw the keys back to Israel”
so it would become responsible for running the Palestinians’ affairs.
official said Abbas was planning to consult with a number of Arab leaders before
making any decision that could have serious implications for the whole
region. Other officials have been talking about the need to end the
Fatah-Hamas dispute and form a unity government in light of the statehood plan’s
Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal are scheduled to meet in
Cairo later this month to discuss ways of achieving “national
Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat, meanwhile, held
separate meetings on Thursday with Quartet envoy Tony Blair, US Consul-General
in Jerusalem Daniel Rubenstien and UN representative Robert Serry, and discussed
the future of the peace process.
A Quartet delegation plans to
separate meetings with Israel and the Palestinians on Monday. Erekat
told the officials that the PA was prepared to deal with the Quartet,
“individually and collectively,” regarding all the issues related to the
talks with Israel.
Erekat reiterated the PA’s refusal to resume direct
peace negotiations with Israel unless the government halted all settlement
construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem and accepted the 1967 “borders”
as the basis for a two-state solution.
Erekat also called upon the
Quartet members – the US, EU, UN and Russia – to put pressure on Israel to
release Palestinian prisoners, especially those who were imprisoned before the
Oslo Accords were signed in 1993.
He told the three officials that the
PLO remained opposed to the idea of a state with provisional borders and said
that a final settlement to the conflict should include all core issues, such as
borders, settlements, refugees, water, security and Jerusalem, as well as the
release of all Palestinians from Israeli prisons.
The Palestinians’ bid
for recognition as a state was put to the Security Council in September during
the UN General Assembly meetings. Since then, experts appointed by the council
have had several meetings to discuss whether or not the PA meets the criteria
for statehood. A report that has been drafted by the Security Council’s
committee on adding new members, summarizing their discussions as well as the
different positions of the council members, is likely to be approved at Friday’s
However, diplomatic sources say a Security Council vote on the
issue will not occur at that point – if at all.
Once the report is
received and subsequently adopted, the council will then have the opportunity to
review it and determine how it will proceed on the issue. It is unclear,
however, whether a member such as Lebanon will propose to put the issue to a
vote in light of the Palestinians’ admission earlier this week that they do not
have the nine requisite Security Council votes to get approval for their
As such, diplomatic sources say, the Security Council could
simply agree to continue consultations on the issue going forward.