The Palestinians won’t benefit from the upgrading of their status to non-member
observer state in the UN because nothing will change on the ground, veteran PLO
official Farouk Kaddoumi said on Wednesday.
Kaddoumi, head of the PLO’s
“political department,” also criticized the Palestinian Authority leadership for
abandoning the armed struggle in favor of peace negotiations with
Kaddoumi’s statements came as PA President Mahmoud Abbas was set
to ask the UN General Assembly on Thursday to vote in favor of upgrading the
status of a Palestinian entity.
The PA has also asked its supporters in
the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem to stage rallies backing Abbas and
the statehood bid.
PA civil servants have been given a day off so that
they could also participate in “celebrations” after the UN approves the
Kaddoumi, who is based in Tunisia, told the Jordanian daily
Al-Ghad that the statehood bid was a “political move” that would not benefit the
Kaddoumi is a staunch opponent of the Oslo Accords that
were signed between the PLO and Israel in 1993.
“This will not benefit
the Palestinians because it won’t change the reality of occupation and
Judaization that exists on the ground,” he said. “What we really need is change
on the ground.”
Kaddoumi said that previous UN resolutions pertaining to
the Israeli-Arab conflict had never been implemented.
The PLO, he added,
has been negotiating endlessly with Israel since the 1991 Madrid Conference
“without achieving anything.”
“Resistance has a better impact on Israel,”
Kaddoumi said. “Therefore, there is no need for negotiations.”
to the recent Israel-Hamas confrontation, he said, “The era of negotiations has
ended in favor of the armed struggle, which has proven to be more
Meanwhile, Hana Ashrawi, a member of the PLO Executive
Committee, told reporters in Ramallah that the statehood bid was a “positive
change and quantum leap.”
Ashrawi said that the statehood bid would pave
the way for freedom and independence for the Palestinians.
She noted that
the UN decision would mean that “our lands are not disputed territories, but
Palestinian lands.” A vote in favor of the Palestinian application is a vote for
peace and justice, Ashrawi claimed.
“This is a moral vote. A vast
majority of members supports our request,” she added.
She said that after
the UN vote, the PA leadership would embark on “practical and tangible” steps to
hold democratic elections and end the rivalry between Fatah and
Ashrawi blasted Israel for trying to “blackmail” the Palestinians
and sabotage the peace process by “Judaizing Jerusalem and building
The Palestinians, she said, preserved the right to
prosecute Israel in the International Criminal Court “at the time we choose and
in accordance with our interests.”
Upgrading the status of a Palestinian
entity would give the Palestinians access to several UN agencies, including the
International Criminal Court.
Ashrawi said that the Palestinians would go
to the court “if Israel continued to avoid and violate international laws.”