(photo credit: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic)
Jordan's King Abdullah II advised Palestinian Authority President
Mahmoud Abbas to reconsider the Palestinian statehood bid, Saudi Arabian
newspaper Al-Madina reported Tuesday.
Israeli efforts move to influencing wording of PA state bid
Opinion: There's no right of returnLandau: If PA goes to UN, declare all agreements null
King Abdullah, after consulting with a team of international lawyers,
explained to Abbas that declaring a state in Palestine would possibly
result in the loss of the "right of return" for Palestinian refugees,
according to the report. He therefore asked him to reconsider his plan
to bring statehood to a vote at the United Nations on September 20.
Abbas however, planned to move forward with his move, nonetheless, the report said.
The Palestinians will continue to demand the right of return for millions of
refugees to their original homes inside Israel even after the UN recognizes a
Palestinian state along the June 4, 1967, lines, Abbas said on Sunday.
Responding to legal experts’ claims that a
Palestinian state could affect the status of the PLO as the “sole
representative” of the Palestinians, Abbas told the Jordanian newspaper
: “The PLO
represents all the Palestinians, not only those in the
Palestinian territories and whose number is estimated at 4 million. The
represents all 8 million Palestinians in the world.”
He said that the PLO
would continue to function until all Palestinian issues were resolved,
the case of the refugees. The PA, he added, is part of the PLO and not a
Abbas claimed that there were 5
“This case must be placed at the
negotiating table and the
difference between us and the Israelis is they don’t want to talk about
issue,” he said.
“We have told them that this
issue must be discussed on
the basis of international legitimacy.”
expert in international
law has warned that millions of Palestinian refugees living outside the
Bank and the Gaza Strip could lose their representation at the UN if the
succeeds in winning recognition of a state next month.
A seven-page legal
opinion prepared by Guy Goodwin- Gill, a professor of international law
Oxford, concluded that “the interests of the Palestinian people are at
prejudice and fragmentation” and the refugees in the diaspora risk
entitlement to equal representation... their ability to vocalize their
participate in matters of national governance, including the formation
political identity of the state, and to exercise the right of
The PLO has had observer status at the
1974. Goodwin-Gill suggested that this status would be transferred to
state of Palestine in September.
Abbas told the
newspaper that he decided
to launch the statehood initiative after the peace talks with Israel
deadlock. He said that the PA would return to the negotiating table only
Israel halted construction in the settlements and accepted the 1967
lines as the
basis for a two-state solution.
Abbas said that
122 countries have voiced
support for the statehood bid. He expected the number to rise to 128 by
the Palestinians go to the UN in late September.
Asked whether the PA leadership has come under
pressure from the US administration to abandon the statehood plan, Abbas
replied: “Yes, there’s a stick, but without a carrot. Indeed, we are
pressure not to go [to the UN]. The pressure is also on other countries.
the end we want to follow the higher interest of the Palestinians.
we don’t want a clash with America, because we’re not qualified for such
He pointed out that Congress has
threatened to cut off
aid to the Palestinians if they insist on going to the UN Security
Abbas noted that the US was
giving the Palestinians
more than $570 million in annual aid while the Arab countries were
fulfill their financial pledges.
that the situation on the
ground would not change for the Palestinians when and if a Palestinian
declared, the PA president explained: “First, there will be a state
occupation. The Israelis these days deal with us on the basis that we
are not a
state and that the Palestinian lands are disputed territories. But when
recognition of our state on the 1967 borders happens, we will become a
under occupation, and then we would be able to go to the UN [with
will remain under occupation, but our legal status will change.”
said he was strongly opposed to an armed intifada against Israel.
long as I’m the president of the Palestinian Authority, I won’t agree to
armed intifada,” he said. “I believe there’s a semi-consensus on the
calm. All the Palestinian factions know what the repercussions of armed
would be. However, I support peaceful demonstrations and popular
every place in Palestine.”