'PLO to pursue efforts to join 60 international bodies'

April 28, 2014 00:43

Palestinians to continue efforts to become member of UN organizations, int'l conventions, AFP reports.

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Mahmoud Abbas

PA president Mahmoud Abbas (center) attends a meeting of the PLO Central Council in Ramallah yesterday. . (photo credit: MOHAMAD TOROKMAN/REUTERS)

The PLO's central council decided Sunday to pursue attempts to join 60 United Nations bodies and international agreements, AFP reported, citing a statement from the governing body of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

Palestine People's Party Secretary-General Bassam al-Salhi said that the council  "affirms the need for the Palestinian leadership to continue membership of UN agencies and international conventions, under the Palestinian plan that was adopted."

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The move follows the collapse of  the already floundering Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, after the signing of a unity pact between Hamas and Fatah on Wednesday, and Israel's subsequent decision to halt the negotiations.

Even as the EU issued a statement supporting Palestinian reconciliation and unity earlier Sunday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu stressed that Israel would not deal with a Palestinian government backed by Hamas.

The statement, put out by EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton five days after the Fatah-Hamas pact upended the diplomatic process, stressed that any new Palestinian government must uphold the principle of non-violence, remain committed to a two-state solution, and accept Israel's "legitimate right to exist."

Jerusalem is concerned that these types of formulas that say that a Palestinian government must affirm these principles – not that Hamas, which will be a part of the government, must do so – will open a back door to Hamas' participation in a government of "technocrats."

Netanyahu, in an interview with CBS,  stressed this was a non-starter for Israel, and that Israel would not engage with a Palestinian government even backed by Hamas, regardless of whether Hamas officials actually sat around the cabinet table.

Herb Keinon contributed to this report

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