PA medics to be in ‘state of emergency’ during UN bid

Member of Fatah Central Committee says PA expects Quartet members to come up with last-minute proposal aimed at reviving peace negotiations.

September 14, 2011 03:07
3 minute read.
Palestinian Flag

Palestinian Flag 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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The Palestinian Authority expects the Quartet members – the US, EU, UN and Russia – to come up with a last-minute proposal that is aimed at reviving the peace negotiations with Israel and averting the Palestinian statehood bid at the UN next week, Mohammed Shtayyeh, member of the Fatah Central Committee, said on Tuesday.

Yet such a proposal would still not deter the PA from going ahead with its statehood plan, he said.

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Meanwhile, the PA medical services in the West Bank announced a “state of emergency” as of September 21 in anticipation of violent confrontations with Israel.

All medical teams and ambulances were instructed to report to work on that day and to be on high alert for the next few days as the PA formally asks the UN to recognize a Palestinian state.

Earlier this week, the ruling Fatah faction urged Palestinians to take to the streets next week to voice their support for the statehood bid at the UN. However, Fatah stopped short of calling for confrontations with Israel.

Shtayyeh, who is also a member of a special committee that has been preparing the application to the UN to recognize a Palestinian state on the pre-1967 lines, told reporters in Ramallah that the Palestinian leadership welcomes any proposal by the Quartet or any other party.

But, he stressed, any proposal that is designed to resume the peace talks should be based on a full cessation of settlement construction and acceptance of the pre-1967 lines as the future borders of a Palestinian state.

Shtayyeh, who is closely associated with PA President Mahmoud Abbas, said that in any case the Palestinian leadership would not drop its plan to go to the UN next week.

Referring to US pressure on the PA to abandon the statehood initiative, he said: “The talk about sanctions because of our decision to go to the UN is a form of extortion which we categorically reject.”

Shtayyeh said that “our minds and hearts are open to any new proposal and we don’t see a contradiction between the UN step and serious negotiations [with Israel].”

However, he added that the PA was prepared to discuss any written proposal submitted by the Americans or Europeans “after we go to the UN.”

No proposal will stop the Palestinians from proceeding with their plan to ask the UN to accept a Palestinian state as a full member on the basis of the pre-1967 lines, he emphasized.

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Shtayyeh said that the Palestinians could not understand why the Americans and Europeans had decided to make a lastminute attempt to persuade the PA to abandon its statehood initiative.

Referring to the US Administration’s decision to send American envoys Dennis Ross and David Hale back to the region, the Palestinian official said: “Their goal is not to revive the peace negotiations.

Instead, they are trying to dissuade us from going to the UN.”

He said that Abbas was scheduled to address Palestinians this coming Friday to explain why the PA was going to the UN.

PLO official Yasser Abed Rabbo claimed on Tuesday that the EU’s stance toward the statehood bid was “positive.”

He said that the Europeans supported the PA’s request for membership of a Palestinian state in the UN.

Abed Rabbo said that the PA’s decision to go to the UN would “open the doors for a solution and settlement.” He too pointed out that the PA leadership was under immense pressure from the Americans and some European countries to refrain from seeking recognition of a Palestinian state next week.

But he also expressed readiness to discuss any new proposal that is presented by the Americans and Europeans to avoid a showdown at the UN.

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