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UN: Palestinian statehood bid likely in November
By TOVAH LAZAROFF
04/10/2012
US has begun to pressure PA to drop unilateral bid; GA president says he expects int'l debate on Palestinian issue soon.
 
The Palestinians are likely to present a resolution on their status at the United Nations General Assembly in November, the GA’s new president, Vuk Jeremic, told reporters in New York late Wednesday afternoon.

“I think that come the middle of November there will be an international debate on the Palestinian issue,” Jeremic said. “My understanding is that the PA leadership is going to engage in extensive discussions and consultations on this matter, coming to a conclusion about what they want to do sometime in November.”

Jeremic added that as a result of conversations he had during the opening session of the 67th GA in New York on this issue, “I am blocking out November. I am not going to go for vacation in November.”

PA President Mahmoud Abbas and his chief negotiator Saeb 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.

“We hope the Palestinians will seriously rethink their strategy,” an Israeli official told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday.

“If they chose to do this it will be a mistake.

It will hurt peace and it will not bring the realization of a Palestinian state forward, it will push it back,” the official said.

“It will undermine confidence in the negotiations and make the chances of an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement much more difficult,” he said.

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.

Erekat told reporters in Jericho last month that he hoped the EU and the US would support their resolution. To that end, he said, he has already met with EU representatives in the region and asked them to help draft the text of the resolution.

The US, however, has already begun to pressure the PA to drop their unilateral bid.

Jeremic said that when the matter is brought to the GA, he would try and chair it in a “fair handed way.”

Based on what was said at the GA by international leaders, “there was resounding support for a two-state solution that would take into account the legitimate concerns of Israelis and Palestinians,” he said. “A lot of delegations called for the resumption of negotiations.”
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