PA: Israel's reaction to UN bid is 'hysterical'

PLO secretary-general accuses Israel of inciting against Abbas, says Israel alone responsible for deterioration of relations with Turkey, Egypt.

By
September 11, 2011 18:27
2 minute read.
PLO Exec Ctee SecGen Abed Rabbo

PLO Exec. C'tee Sec.-Gen Abed Rabbo 311 (R). (photo credit: Mohamad Torokman/Reuters)

 
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The Palestinian Authority on Sunday condemned as “hysterical” the government’s reaction to its plan to ask the United Nations to recognize a Palestinian state on the pre-1967 lines.

Yasser Abed Rabbo, secretary-general of the PLO, accused Israel of inciting against PA President Mahmoud Abbas because of his intention to go to the UN later this month.

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Abed Rabbo held Israel alone responsible for the deterioration in its relations with Egypt and Turkey. He was referring to assertions that Abbas’s policies were increasing tensions and anti-Israel sentiments in the region.

The Palestinians are also opposed to any attack on any diplomatic mission, Abed Rabbo said, referring to the assault on the Israeli Embassy in Cairo over the weekend.

He said that the Europeans were not opposed to the PA’s plan to go to the UN. “The Europeans wants us to return to the negotiations and we are not against this,” he explained. “But we want serious negotiations.”

Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat said on Sunday that there was a “misunderstanding” regarding the PA’s statehood bid. He said the move was not aimed at achieving Palestinian independence, because that’s something that the Palestinians already declared in Algeria in 1988.

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It was also wrong to say that the PA was seeking recognition of a state, Erekat said. “Recognition is not the business of the UN,” he continued. “Recognition is something that comes from each country on an individual basis, and this is what we are seeking to achieve through a comprehensive and wide diplomatic campaign.”

Erekat said that the PA was actually seeking full membership of a Palestinian state in the UN on the basis of the June 4, 1967, “borders” with Jerusalem as its capital.

He said that Abbas, “in his capacity as head of the PLO, the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinians,” will submit the PA application to the UN secretary-general and the president of the Security Council.

“This is just a step on a long road, and its goal is not to delegitimize or isolate anyone,” he said. “Rather, it’s intended to delegitimize the occupation.

“Those who believe in the importance of peace and the two-state solution” should support the PA’s move at the UN, Erekat said.

Asked what would change if the UN approved the PA request, Erekat said: “If we win recognition, we don’t believe that the settlements will be automatically removed or that Israeli provocations and crimes would stop. The only difference is that Palestine will become a state that is occupied by another member of the UN. This means that the final-status negotiations would be only over working out a timetable for an Israeli withdrawal.”

PA negotiator Nabil Sha’ath announced, meanwhile, that some EU foreign ministers have said that they would support the PA step at the UN “and won’t vote against any Palestinian decision.”

He said that Abbas was scheduled to meet in Cairo on Monday with Catherine Ashton, the representative of the EU for foreign affairs and security policy, to hear about the EU’s final position toward the statehood bid.

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