Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Palestinian Authority on Monday denied that it has decided to postpone its plan to ask the UN Security Council to issue a resolution calling for a full Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines.
The denial came after the Bethlehem- based Ma’an news agency quoted PA Foreign Minister Riad Malki earlier that day as saying that the Palestinian leadership has decided to delay its intention to go to the Security Council.
A senior PA official in Ramallah said that the plan, which calls for a Security Council resolution that considers all the territories captured by Israel in 1967 as the lands of a future Palestinian state, would be presented to the council on November 30, and described the Ma’an report as a “rumor designed to defame the Palestinian Authority.”
PA President Mahmoud Abbas is set to attend a meeting of the Arab League foreign ministers in Cairo on November 29 to seek their backing for the Security Council move, the official said, adding that the PA wants the Security Council to set a timeline for an Israeli pullout to the pre-1967 lines.
According to the official, seven members of the Security Council have pledged to support the Palestinian statehood bid. He said that France has agreed in principle to vote in favor of the proposed resolution.
However, the official refused to name the seven members “out of concern that they would come under pressure from the US.”
The proposed resolution needs the backing of at least nine members of the Security Council – something that the Palestinians seem to have not been able to secure thus far.
Meanwhile, the daily Al-Quds newspaper quoted a Palestinian source as saying that Abbas would not hesitate to dissolve the PA “and hand the keys over to Israel” if the US pressure on the Palestinians continued.
The Ma’an report quoted Malki as saying that the Palestinians have failed to secure the backing of nine Security Council members for the statehood bid, and that this was one of the reasons why the PA had decided to delay its intention to present the statehood plan.
Malki said that the decision was also taken in wake of US pressure and threats to impose sanctions on the Palestinians, according to the report, and that the preoccupation of the Security Council members with the Iranian issue in Vienna was another reason why the PA decided to delay the statehood bid.
Malki later denied the statements attributed to him and said that efforts were continuing to present the plan to the Security Council.