PLO leadership warned Tuesday that Israeli policies in Jerusalem and the West
Bank posed an unprecedented and serious short-term threat to the two-state
The warning was issued following a lengthy meeting of the PLO
Executive Committee, headed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, in
The PLO said that Israel’s policy of “Judaizing” Jerusalem and
“ethnic cleansing” in the West Bank “paved the way for the possibility of the
establishment of one racist state where Israel would retain its occupation of
Palestinian lands and prevent the creation of an independent Palestinian state
on the 1967 borders.”
The talk about resuming peace negotiations was
aimed at “covering up for Israeli practices,” the PLO said, and called on the UN
to grant a Palestinian state the status of non-member during the upcoming
session of the General Assembly.
Abbas would consult with Arab countries
about the statehood bid at the UN during a meeting of Arab League foreign
ministers later this week, the group’s leadership added.
spokesman for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, responded by saying that the
“reason for the impasse in the peace process is the Palestinian decision to
boycott peace negotiations.”
Regev said the Palestinians have
consistently refused to negotiate with the Netanyahu government and have
therefore created a situation where there has been no substantive progress for
Regev said Israel was “concerned about some of the extremist
language used by Palestinian officials. Their refusal to acknowledge a Jewish
connection to Jerusalem, which is to ignore 3,000 years of history, would seem
to be more appropriate coming from extremist elements, rather than people who
profess to be committed to peace.”
PA officials had originally announced
that Abbas would submit a request for membership in the UN during the General
Assembly session in New York at the end of this month.
American pressure, Abbas has decided to delay the move until after the US
PLO Secretary-General Yasser Abed Rabbo told
reporters after the meeting that the Palestinians have decided to present a
request for membership in the UN later this month. He said the Palestinians were
hoping that the UN would grant them observer status, which would allow the PA to
be included in UN activities but not vote or propose resolutions.
Rabbo said that the PA would coordinate its move with Arab countries, the EU and
members of the Non-Aligned Movement. He acknowledged that the PA leadership was
facing pressure to abandon the statehood bid.
“There is always pressure
when there is diplomatic activity,” Abed Rabbo said. “There are some parties
that don’t want us to go to the UN. But there are also others who support us and
are pushing us to go to the UN.”
The PLO official said that Foreign
Minister Avigdor Liberman’s campaign against Abbas was aimed at thwarting the
new statehood bid. Abed Rabbo accused the Israeli government of endorsing
Liberman’s campaign which, he said, was escalating tensions in the
Regarding the criticism of Liberman, one government official said
the PA, which has said continually that the current government is an “obstacle
to peace,” has no right to criticize the foreign minister for using the same
words against Abbas.
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