|Photo by: Lucas Jackson / Reuters|
Israeli-PA row shaping up over Palestinian UN bid
By KHALED ABU TOAMEH AND HERB KEINON
Israeli official warns Abbas "will pay a price" for statehood bid after PA president rebuffs US, European requests to postpone move.
A showdown looms over the Palestinian Authority’s bid to seek statehood
recognition at the UN this week, with PA President Mahmoud Abbas rebuffing
requests to postpone the move, and Israel promising to respond if he follows
Abbas has turned down requests from the US, France, Germany and
Britain to postpone his plan to ask the UN on Thursday to upgrade the status of
the Palestinian delegation to that of a non-member observer state, PA officials
in Ramallah revealed.
The officials told the PA’s official mouthpiece,
Al-Ayyam, that Abbas was determined to pursue his statehood bid despite the
November 29 is the anniversary of the historic UN vote to
partition Mandatory Palestine in 1947.
An Israeli government official
said that if Abbas goes ahead with this move, “he has to know that he will pay a
price. This is a fundamental and unacceptable violation of previous agreements,
and Israel reserves the right to respond.”
The official continued with
Israel’s policy of not specifying what measures Israel would take in response,
saying only that this “negative move” would “complicate the possibility of
future negotiations and undermine what little trust is left.”
Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said in an Israel Radio interview that Israel
would look for other Palestinian interlocutors with whom to conduct a
Ayalon did not say whom he had in mind.
Post reported Friday that one possible Israeli response to the move at the UN
was to build and develop in the E1 area between Jerusalem and Ma’ale Adumim,
something the US has urged Jerusalem not to do.
meanwhile, expressed hope that the recent IDF operation in the Gaza Strip would increase the number of countries that would vote in favor of upgrading the
status of a Palestinian state.
Hana Amireh, a member of the PLO Executive
Committee, said that the statehood bid has become “very urgent” after the IDF
offensive “because it mobilized widespread support for the
Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat told the Ramallah-based
newspaper that the decision to go to the UN on November 29 was
Abbas told the foreign ministers of the US, France,
Germany and Britain that he’s going to the UN, a PA official stressed. The PA is
nevertheless expecting most EU countries to abstain during the vote on the
Some EU countries will decide how to vote only at the last
minute, PA officials said. PA attempts to persuade EU countries to vote in favor
of the statehood bid will continue in the coming days, they added.
is also actively lobbying the world’s democratic nations against supporting the
move, believing that if a group of 40 to 50 democracies either vote against or
abstain, this would deprive the Palestinians of a moral victory, even though
they have an automatic majority inside the General Assembly to get the
Over the weekend, PA Foreign Minister Riad Maliki said
he tried to persuade his Italian counterpart to support the statehood bid at the
UN during a meeting in Rome. Maliki did not say whether he had succeeded in his
Abbas, meanwhile, expressed hope that US President Barack Obama
would fulfill his vision for a two-state solution as he had stated in his 2009
“President Obama is in his second term in office and we
hope that he will stand with peace,” Abbas told Palestinian high school students
during a meeting in his office.
“This could be the last chance for
achieving peace and stability.”
Washington has come out staunchly against
Abbas has reiterated his readiness to resume peace talks with
Israel, but only after obtaining the status of non-member observer in the
“There is nothing that stops us from obtaining the status of
non-member observer,” he said. “That’s why we will file the application on
November 29 with a request for voting on it. We are sure that the countries of
the free world would vote with us,” Abbas said.
Former US president Jimmy
Carter phoned Abbas on Friday to voice his support for the statehood bid, the PA
president’s office said in a statement.