PA president Mahmoud Abbas (center) attends a meeting of the PLO Central Council in Ramallah yesterday. .
(photo credit: MOHAMAD TOROKMAN/REUTERS)
The PLO's central council decided Sunday to pursue attempts to join 60 United Nations bodies and international agreements, AFP reported, citing a statement from the governing body of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
Palestine People's Party Secretary-General Bassam al-Salhi said that the council "affirms the need for the Palestinian leadership to continue membership of UN agencies and international conventions, under the Palestinian plan that was adopted."
The move follows the collapse of the already floundering Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, after the signing of a unity pact
between Hamas and Fatah on Wednesday, and Israel's subsequent decision to halt the negotiations.
Even as the EU issued a statement supporting Palestinian reconciliation and unity earlier Sunday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu stressed
that Israel would not deal with a Palestinian government backed by Hamas.
The statement, put out by EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton five days after the Fatah-Hamas pact upended the diplomatic process, stressed that any new Palestinian government must uphold the principle of non-violence, remain committed to a two-state solution, and accept Israel's "legitimate right to exist."
Jerusalem is concerned that these types of formulas that say that a Palestinian government must affirm these principles – not that Hamas, which will be a part of the government, must do so – will open a back door to Hamas' participation in a government of "technocrats."
Netanyahu, in an interview with CBS, stressed this was a non-starter for Israel, and that Israel would not engage with a Palestinian government even backed by Hamas, regardless of whether Hamas officials actually sat around the cabinet table.
Herb Keinon contributed to this report