PA: US trying to threaten Palestinians to drop UN bid

Officials say Washington has yet to come up with new idea that would lead to resumption of peace talks, envoys probably not bringing new ideas.

September 6, 2011 20:37
3 minute read.
PA President Mahmoud Abbas at the United Nations

Abbas 311. (photo credit: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic)


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Palestinian officials complained on Tuesday that the US Administration was threatening them to drop their statehood bid and return to the negotiating table with Israel.

The officials emphasized that the Palestinian Authority would not succumb to the threats and would proceed with its plan.

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They said that Washington has yet to come up with new ideas that would lead to the resumption of the stalled peace talks.

The US Administration is continuing to threaten the PA that it must abandon its plan to ask the United Nations Security council to recognize a Palestinian state along the pre-1967 lines, Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat said.

“The official American position is: ‘Don’t go to the Security Council and return to the negotiations with Israel,’” Erekat told PLO officials during a meeting in the Jordanian capital of Amman.

He said that the Americans have not offered the Palestinians anything in return for abandoning the statehood bid. However, Erekat said that the US Administration has also made it clear that Washington does not want a confrontation with the PA over this matter.

“Despite these threats, the Palestinians have informed the Americans that we will go to the Security Council to ask for full membership of a Palestinian state in line with Palestinian interests and because this is not a unilateral act,” Erekat was quoted as saying.

He added that after the UN vote later this month, the state of Palestine will be under occupation and Israel would be held responsible – according to international agreements and conventions – fully responsible for health, education, security and other things. “The rest of the members of the UN would be obliged to help Palestine get rid of the occupation,” he explained.

Erekat pointed out that some 125 countries have already recognized the Palestinian state. He said that the number was expected to rise to 150 during the vote at the UN General Assembly at the recommendation of the Security Council.

The Palestinians, he said, don’t want a confrontation with Israel or the US. “We only want our rights, which we have waited for too long,” he said, accusing Israel of refusing to accept international “legitimacy.”

The negotiations with Israel have ended and this is the time for taking decisions, he stressed.

Erekat said that the PA would not backtrack on its decision to go to the UN “even if Israel came forward with proposals [for resuming the peace talks].”

Nimer Hammad, political adviser to PA President Mahmoud Abbas, said on Tuesday that the PA was prepared to drop its statehood initiative if the US and Israel accepted the Palestinians’ demands.

He said that the two main demands are: a full cessation of settlement construction and recognition of a Palestinian state on the pre-1967 lines.

Hammad said that the PA leadership still does not know what proposals, if any, US envoys Dennis Ross and David Hale, are carrying with them. The two emissaries are currently in the region in a last-minute bid to persuade the PA to abandon its plan and return to the negotiating table with Israel.

“If the two men are carrying positive ideas, we will study them,” Hammad said.

PLO Secretary-General Yasser Abed Rabbo said that the Palestinians were going to the UN later this month “in spite of the pressures and objections.”

Abed Rabbo said that he did not expect Ross and Hale to bring anything new. “All indications are that they are not carrying anything new to revive the peace process,” he claimed. “All we know is that they are carrying threats, warnings and financial boycotts.”

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