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Erekat: 'Palestine' should be on official documents
By KHALED ABU TOAMEH
12/30/2012
Chief PLO negotiator also calls for new constitution, reconciliation with Hamas and membership in UN conventions and agencies.
 
Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat recommended Sunday that the Palestinian Authority add the label “State of Palestine” to all of its official documents and signs.

Erekat also suggested that the PA leadership prepare a new constitution, achieve reconciliation with Hamas, and seek membership in UN conventions and agencies following the upgrading of the Palestinians’s status to non-member observer state.

Erekat, in a study published Sunday, accused Congress and the Israeli government of “waging war” on the Palestinian national project following the UN vote last November.

He predicted that the “war” would continue. “The decisions they have taken are only the beginning,” Erekat said, referring to Israel’s decision to withhold tax and customs revenues, and threats by Congress to suspend financial aid to the Palestinians.

Erekat also recommended that the PA leadership prepare a working plan for the resumption of peace talks with Israel from the point where they ended in November 2008.

He said such talks should be limited to six months, only during which time Israel would freeze construction in West Bank settlements and east Jerusalem and release Palestinian prisoners, especially those who were incarcerated before the signing of the Oslo Accords.

Erekat said that if Israel insisted on building in E1 and Givat Hamatos, the Palestinians should take the matter to the UN Security Council.

“If the effort does not succeed because of a veto, the case should be taken to the UN General Assembly to make a decision regarding building settlements in the occupied State of Palestine,” Erekat recommended. He also called for laying a Palestinian strategy for dealing with those Israelis who accept the principle of a two-state solution.

Erekat concluded his recommendations by stating that the upgrading of the Palestinians’ status “would not change the reality of Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories.”

However, he pointed out that following the UN vote, the “occupation has become an occupation of one member of the UN by another member. This requires creating a new political dynamic and approach between the international community and Israel.”

Erekat disclosed that a special Palestinian legal team was now studying measures needed to obtain membership in 17 UN agencies, including the International Criminal Court, the World Health Organization, UNESCO and the World Bank.
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