The Foreign Ministry on Monday sent a cable to its embassies abroad instructing
diplomats to thwart Palestinian moves to seek unilateral recognition of
statehood, particularly at the UN, according to diplomatic
“There is no substitute for direct negotiations,” said Foreign
Ministry spokesman Yossi Levy.
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Establishing a Palestinian state is not
like asking people to mark a favorite page on Facebook, he said.
that it was in the Palestinians’ best interests to talk with Israel instead of
“trying to inflame” the international arena.
The Palestinian Authority
reaffirmed on Monday its determination to unilaterally seek recognition by the
international community of a Palestinian state along the pre-1967 borders
despite statements to the contrary by PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.
announcement came amid talk in Ramallah of mounting tensions between Fayyad and
the PA leadership over whether the Palestinians should proceed with plans to
unilaterally declare a state.
Fayyad declared over the past few days his
opposition to the PA’s intention to seek unilateral statehood. He
explained that the Palestinians didn’t want a “Mickey Mouse” state that had no
“We are looking for a state of Palestine, not a unilateral
declaration of statehood,” Fayyad said.
His statements drew criticism
from some PA and Fatah officials in the West Bank.
Yasser Abed Rabbo, a
senior PLO official and close adviser to PA President Mahmoud Abbas, announced
that the Palestinian leadership would pursue its efforts with the UN Security
Council and General Assembly to win backing for a unilateral declaration of
“We are working to ensure the backing of as many countries as
possible [for the unilateral declaration] before the next session of the UN
General Assembly,” Abed Rabbo said. He criticized the US administration for
opposing the idea.
A top aide to Abbas said in response to Fayyad’s
remarks: “The prime minister expressed his personal opinion. The Palestinian
leadership has a different view.”
Fatah sources told the London-based
newspaper that Fayyad’s statements were “unacceptable,
incomprehensible and surprising.”
The sources said that the statement
contradicted efforts made by Fatah and Abbas to gain international recognition
for an independent Palestinian state.
PA negotiator Saeb Erekat contacted
Fayyad to reprimand him and ask him to explain his comments, the sources
Another negotiator, Nabil Shaath, said in response to Fayyad’s
statements: “The Palestinian people do not need the permission of anyone to
declare their independence.”
Palestinians have intensified their focus on
unilateral statehood after briefly holding direct talks with Israel in
The Palestinians broke off the talks after Israel’s 10-month
moratorium on construction in the settlements expired on September 26 and Israel
did not extend it. They are now refusing to resume talks until Israel
stops all construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.
official told The Jerusalem Post
that the best way for the Palestinians to
achieve statehood was to return to the negotiating table.
Palestinians have to make a clear choice between meaningless declarative
statements or meaningful negotiations with Israel,” the official
“One choice, the former, is cosmetic and offers only a dead end,”
the official said. “The latter offers a two-state solution.”
impasse in the peace process stems directly from the Palestinian refusal to
negotiate directly with Israel, said the official.
“Everything else is a
result of that,” the official added.
On one hand, the Palestinians are
saying that they do not want to negotiate with Israel, and on the other hand,
they are saying that they have to go to the international community because
negotiations are going nowhere, said the official.
“It is a logically
inconsistent position,” the official said.
In 1988 the Palestinians
declared an independent state that was recognized by dozens of countries, but
that did not change the Palestinians’ status.
“The idea that there is
some outside imposed solution is a myth,” said the official.