Palestinian Authority chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said Monday that the Palestinian bid for non-member status at the United Nations is the only way to stop the expanding Israeli settlement enterprise in the West Bank, official PA news agency WAFA reported.
Speaking after meetings with foreign diplomats, Erekat called on the international community to support the Palestinian UN maneuver when it comes to a vote in the UN General Assembly, likely in November.
Last week, the GA’s new president Vuk Jeremic hinted that the Palestinians would bring the issue to the UN in mid-November.
PA President Mahmoud Abbas and Erekat have already said they plan to ask the UN General Assembly to upgrade the Palestinians’ status from that of an observer mission, to one of a non-member state.
They are seeking the support of 150 to 170 of the UN’s 193 member states, although all they need for passage of their resolution is a majority vote. Passage of the resolution is considered to be a de-facto recognition of unilateral Palestinian statehood.
It offers the Palestinians some additional rights as a state.
GA resolutions cannot be vetoed.
The PA has opted for a GA resolution, after failing to obtain the nine votes necessary from the 15 countries on the UN Security Council for full UN membership. Only the Security Council can grant full UN membership.
The US, which has veto power on the council, has promised to veto a Palestinian membership bid if it passes.
Israel has opposed all Palestinian unilateral statehood bids at the UN, fearing that it would harm the peace process by empowering Palestinians to wage a diplomatic war on Israel.
Israel has called on the Palestinians to pursue statehood through a negotiated two-state solution that would end the conflict between them.
Abbas and Erekat have said that Palestinian statehood is an inalienable right and is not dependent on an end to the conflict. They have said that a UN resolution that sets the territorial parameters of the two-state solution at the pre-1967 lines would help pave the way for a final status agreement between Israelis and Palestinians.
The US, however, has already begun to pressure the PA to drop their unilateral bid.