Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas announced on Saturday that the PA leadership would go to the UN Security Council this month to request a resolution that considers the territories conquered by Israel in 1967 as the lands of the Palestinian state.
Abbas said that the Palestinians would also ask the Security Council to set a timeline for an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines.
Abbas made the announcement during an emergency meeting of the PA leadership in Ramallah. The meeting was called to discuss the latest developments in the region, especially the tensions in Jerusalem and Israeli plans to build new housing units in the city.
“We want the Security Council to issue a resolution affirming the status quo that has been prevalent in Jerusalem since 1967,” Abbas said.
Referring to tensions on the Temple Mount, Abbas accused Israel of violating all international resolutions.
“We want the Security Council to condemn what is happening [at the Temple Mount] and affirm the need to preserve the status quo,” he added.
Abbas said that if the Palestinians secure nine votes of Security Council members, they would proceed with the statehood bid.
Following the meeting, the PA leadership issued a statement condemning plans to build new housing units in Jerusalem and its surrounding suburbs.
The PA said it has decided to move quickly at the Security Council against the Israeli plans, which, it said, undermine any chance of establishing an independent Palestinian state on the pre-1967 lines.
“The international community is requested to clearly declare that there is no peace partner in Israel,” the statement said.
The statement also accused the Israeli government of seeking to alter the status quo on the Temple Mount and “cancel the centuries-long nature of this holy Islamic site.”
Israel has opposed Palestinian unilateral efforts at the UN and has argued that it is harmful to the peace process because it give the Palestinians a venue outside the peace process.
It has also opposed growing calls by European politicians to recognize Palestine as a state without resolution of the conflict with Israel.
Poland, Hungary and Slovakia did so before joining the European Union. Sweden, which is an EU member, recognized Palestine as a state, last month.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with visiting EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini on Friday about his opposition to unilateral Palestinian moves.
He told Mogherini that it was totally “irresponsible” for European nations to take such a step.
“To accord, as some European countries have, to accord recognition to a Palestinian state without demanding an equal recognition on their part to the nation-state of the Jewish people is irresponsible,” Netanyahu said.
“To give recognition to a Palestinian state that doesn’t either recognize the Jewish state or agree to security arrangements that are necessary for its security and survival is irresponsible.
And I hope that a more balanced and more responsible arrangement [ensues],” Netanyahu said.
There are four European Union members on the security council – France, the United Kingdom, Lithuania and Luxembourg.