'We'll change face of the Mideast if settlements continue'
LAST UPDATED: 11/03/2011 16:59
Abbas aide says PA will take "dangerous decisions" if Israel continues with policies. Malki: We won't accept less than full UN membership.
PA President Abbas speaking ahead of trip to UN Photo: REUTERS/Darren Whiteside
The Palestinian Authority continued on Thursday to issue threats
in response to Israel's decision to expedite construction in settlements
and east Jerusalem neighborhoods following the admittance of the
Palestinians to UNESCO.
Palestinian officials also warned that
Israel's decision to freeze tax revenues to the Palestinians would lead
to the collapse of the PA.
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Abu Rudaineh, spokesman for PA President Mahmoud Abbas, announced that
the PA was about to take "important, big and dangerous decisions" if
Israel continued with its current policies.
He did not give further details about the expected decisions.
However, Abu Rudaineh said in an interview with BBC that the
planned decisions would "change the face of the entire Middle East."
Last week, Abbas issued a similar threat, telling an Egyptian TV station
that he was considering "dangerous and significant" decisions in wake
of the continued stalemate in the peace process.
PA officials in Ramallah said they believed that the decisions include
either the dismantlement of the PA or the resignation of Abbas.
At a meeting of the Fatah Revolutionary Council in Ramallah last week,
Abbas hinted at the possibility of dissolving the PA when he told
delegates that the PA "was not a real authority."
Some Palestinians believe that dissolving the PA would be the most
appropriate way to "punish" Israel for its refusal to stop construction
in the settlements and east Jerusalem neighborhoods and accept the
pre-1967 lines as the basis for a two-state solution.
These Palestinians argue that dissolving the PA would mean that Israel
would have to assume responsibility for running the day-to-day affairs
of the Palestinians, at least in the West Bank.
"The status quo can't continue," said a PA official in Ramallah. "We
have reached the conclusion that the international community can't do
anything to force Israel to move forward with the peace process."
Abbas, meanwhile, said that Israel's insistence on building new homes in
settlements and east Jerusalem was the "major obstacle to peace."
Abbas told a visiting EU delegation that he was determined to go proceed
with plans to achieve full membership of a Palestinian state in the
United Nations. He explained that the move does not contradict with the
principle of negotiations with Israel, but would rather facilitate the
Abbas too told the delegation that the "status quo" can't continue
forever and that the international community should intervene to break
Adding to the voices, Palestinian Authority
Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki said Thursday that the Palestinians will
not accept anything less than full United Nations membership and do not
want an upgrade to an observer state in the world body.
al-Malki's remarks suggested the Palestinians would not seek such an
upgrade once their bid for full state membership meets the fate widely
expected for it - failure because of opposition from the United States,
among other governments.
"We do not want, after all of these
struggles, sacrifices, and efforts by the entire Palestinian people, to
accept an observer state in the United Nations. We will not accept less
than we deserve: a full member state," he said.
"At this moment,
we are not concerned with applying for membership for Palestine in the
rest of the international organizations," he told journalists in
Ramallah, the seat of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. "The
official Palestinian position is to concentrate only on the request for
membership which we presented to the United Nations," Malki said.