|Saeb Erekat 311.(Photo by: Mati Milstein)|
'Despite Hamas opposition, PA to go to UN September'
By KHALED ABU TOAMEH AND HERB KEINON
Erekat: Abbas to ask Norway, Spain to recognize Palestinian state on '67 lines; Israel continues efforts to muster "moral minority."
The Palestinian Authority will ask the Security Council in September to
recognize a Palestinian state as a full member of the UN, Palestinian negotiator
Saeb Erekat said on Sunday.
Hamas, meanwhile, announced its opposition to
the PA plan and said it had not been consulted about it.
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“This is a
legal, political and moral right,” Erekat said. “If the US uses the veto against
our request, we will return to the UN with a request to upgrade the status of
the Palestinian state to nonmember.
Afterward, we will go back to the
Security Council once and twice and three times to ask for full
Erekat said that PA President Mahmoud Abbas, who is
currently touring a number of EU countries, would ask Norway and Spain to
recognize a Palestinian state on the pre-1967 lines.
“President Abbas is
determined to go to the UN,” said Erekat, who is accompanying
Abbas also plans to visit Turkey in the coming days, to attend a
meeting of scores of PA ambassadors to discuss the PA’s diplomatic moves ahead
of September, Erekat disclosed.
Erekat told the London-based Asharq
Al-Awsat newspaper that the PA would proceed with its plan to seek full
membership from the Security Council, even if the peace talks with Israel are
revived before September.
“The negotiations and the application to the
Security Council don’t contradict each other,” he explained. “We are going to
the Security Council to consolidate the two-state solution. [Prime Minister
Binyamin] Netanyahu is the one who has rejected the two-state solution and
closed the door to negotiations by rejecting US President Barack Obama’s
Erekat said that Abbas would personally carry the membership
request to the Security Council, in his capacity as “Palestinian president and
chairman of the PLO Executive Committee.”
According to Erekat, September
would mark the beginning of a move designed to gain full membership of a
Palestinian state in the Security Council. “In September we will file a request
for full membership with the Security Council and this will only be the
beginning,” he said. “It won’t be a one-time attempt and it could recur every
Palestinians were not interested in a confrontation with the US
administration over the statehood bid, Erekat said.
“We will talk with
the Americans about this,” he said. “We have nine members of the Security
Council who have recognized us: India, Lebanon, South Africa, Gabon, Nigeria,
Bosnia, Brazil, Russia and China. We will keep trying with the US until it
changes its position.”
Ezat al-Risheq, a senior Damascusbased Hamas
official, said that Abbas’s decision to go to the UN was an “individual step”
that was not coordinated with other Palestinian factions.
state should be extracted and not begged for,” Risheq said.
resistance is the only way for the Palestinians to extract their rights and
liberate their land and establish their state.”
meanwhile, said there has been no let-up in Jerusalem’s efforts to put together
a “moral minority” of “important, democratic countries” to refrain from
supporting the Palestinian bid in the General Assembly, where the Palestinians
are expected to turn if they are thwarted by a US veto in the Security
The thrust of the emphasis, the officials said, is Europe, with
Netanyahu expected to make his second trip there this month, going in two weeks
to Hungary and Poland.
Earlier this month Netanyahu went to Romania and
Bulgaria, where he lobbied the governments there against supporting the PA
Depriving the PA of votes from key democracies in Europe would
“take the teeth out” of any resolution, one official said, while acknowledging
that the Palestinians have an automatic majority to get a resolution supporting
statehood through the General Assembly.
One of the central arguments
being used in efforts to convince countries not to support the move is to say
that it will only make returning to the negotiation table more difficult, and
will be a setback to the peace process.
In parallel with efforts to get
states to refrain from supporting the move, the officials said Israel is
continuing to work with Washington and others in the international community
trying to find a formula for returning to the talks that would keep the
Palestinians from going to the UN.