Around 10 EU countries are set to upgrade the status of Palestinian
representative offices in their capitals in the near future, chief Palestinian
Authority negotiator Saeb Erekat declared on Sunday.
This would mean that
Palestinian missions would move a step closer toward becoming embassies whose
officials enjoy full diplomatic immunity.
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Erekat said that the move
follows Norway’s recent decision to upgrade the status of the Palestinian
representative office. Moreover, the move comes in wake of three South American
countries to recognize a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, he
A PA official told The Jerusalem Post
that the decision to seek
international recognition of a Palestinian state was designed to shift the
conflict from one over “occupied Palestinian territories” to one over an
“occupied state with defined borders.”
The official said that while the
Palestinians did not expect the recognition to end Israeli “occupation,” it
would increase international support for the Palestinians and their
Erekat said that the Palestinian position has earned the support
of a majority in the international community.
Erekat did not say which EU
countries were expected to upgrade the status of the Palestinian representative
Earlier this week, the PA said it has appealed to several EU
countries separately to recognize a Palestinian state on the June 4, 1967,
The PLO negotiator said that Norway’s decision to upgrade the
status of the Palestinian office to embassy level had “embarrassed and worried”
the Israeli government.
“The Israelis are afraid that the issue of
recognition of a Palestinian state would enter the EU,” he said. “We urge the
international community to salvage the two-state solution by recognizing a
Palestinian state on the 1967 borders.”
Erekat said that the issue of
recognizing a Palestinian state was a “free, independent and sovereign” matter
for each country.
The US administration can’t prevent other countries
from exercising their sovereign right, he said.
Nabil Sha’ath, another
member of the PA negotiating team, said the Palestinians would accept nothing
less than an independent state on the 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as its
capital, and the “right of return” for refugees.
He ruled out the
possibility that the Palestinians would resort at this stage to an armed
struggle against Israel, saying that the best option for now was a “popular