The Palestinian Authority’s decision to postpone plans to seek UN membership
next month has angered some Fatah officials in the West Bank.
President Mahmoud Abbas was expected to ask the UN General Assembly this month
to grant non-member status for a Palestinian state in the international body.
Nonmember status does not require the approval of the Security
In recent weeks, Abbas and other PA officials had stressed that
the PA was determined to renew its bid for recognition of statehood and
membership at the UN despite objections from Israel and the US.
week, PA Foreign Minister Riad Maliki, in a surprise move, announced that Abbas
would not present a request for membership in the UN during his speech before
the General Assembly in late September. The decision to delay the request was
taken following heavy pressure from the US administration and some EU
Maliki hinted that the statehood bid had been delayed until
after the US presidential election. His announcement drew sharp criticism from
Tawfik Tirawi, a senior member of the Fatah Central Committee and former head of
the PA’s General Intelligence Service in the West Bank.
the PA foreign minister of “disparaging the minds of Palestinians and their
strategic right that they have been defending with their souls and
Tirawi said that no one had authorized Maliki to speak on behalf
of the PA leadership and government.
“Minister Maliki is not the one who
decides whether the membership request would be presented or delayed,” Tirawi
said in an unprecedented attack on the PA foreign minister.
“This is a
decision that will be taken by the PLO Executive Committee, the Palestinian
Authority leadership and the government.”
Tirawi said that Maliki’s
announcement was “harmful” to the PA leadership and its credibility.
Sunday evening, Maliki issued a statement in which he denied that he had talked
about delaying the statehood bid. He added that the PA leadership still has not
set a date for presenting its request to the UN.
Two other senior Fatah
officials in the West Bank also criticized the apparent decision to delay the
statehood bid after the PA had affirmed that it would go ahead with the
Nimer Hammad, political adviser to Abbas, said that the PA still
has not decided when to file the request for membership in the UN. He explained
that the PA first wants to make sure that a large number of UN General Assembly
members are in favor of the statehood bid.
Abbas is also scheduled to
consult with Arab League foreign ministers later this week to win their backing
for the new statehood bid.
The Arab League last month voiced backing for
Abbas’s plan to seek UN recognition of a Palestinian state.
Executive Committee is expected to hold a meeting in Ramallah on Monday to
discuss the statehood bid and the ongoing Fatah-Hamas dispute said Wasel Abu
Yusef, a PLO official. At the meeting, Abbas will brief the PLO leaders on the
outcome of his visit to Iran and US pressure to abandon the statehood bid.