Palestinians to seek UN statehood bid at General Assembly

Palestinian FM Riyad al-Malki says Palestine will seek status of non-member observer state during next UN General Assembly, a move that will allow them to join UN agencies & Int’l Criminal Court

 

By Reuters

 

The Palestinians will next month renew a bid to upgrade their status at the United Nations, their foreign minister said on Saturday, a move which could strengthen their statehood claims after talks with Israel stalled.

Riyad al-Malki Photo: AFP

FM Riyad al-Malki
Photo: AFP

Palestinians are listed as a UN observer “entity” with no voting rights. They will ask to be made a non-member observer state at the UN General Assembly on Sept. 27, Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki told reporters in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Such status, akin to the Vatican’s, would be an indirect recognition of their claims on statehood in the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza Strip. It would allow them to join a number of UN agencies, as well as the International Criminal Court.

The Palestinians say Israeli settlement-building on occupied West Bank land has stymied prospects for a bilateral statehood deal. Disagreement over the issue led to negotiations stalling in 2010.

Malki said President Mahmoud Abbas would make the status request in a speech and the Palestinians would then lobby for support among UN member states, many of which are sympathetic to the campaign and regard the West Bank settlements as illegal.

אבו מאזן בעצרת האו"ם הקודמת (צילום: EPA)

Abbas during last year’s General Assembly – Photo: EPA

“When we are sure we have won absolute support from the largest possible number of states, we will be ready to request that the General Assembly vote on such a draft resolution,” Malki said.

A simple majority vote in the 193-member General Assembly would be enough to bestow non-member observer status, bypassing the Security Council – where the United States, Israel’s ally, has a veto.

“We are looking forward to getting 180 votes,” Malki said. “We will become a non-member (observer) state in 2012.”

 

Security Council

Once that was achieved, he said, the Palestinians would pursue full UN membership. However that would require approval by the Security Council – and Washington.

“This is an ongoing struggle that will not stop and which we will continue to the end,” Malki said.

A similar campaign by the Palestinians last year proved short-lived amid opposition from Israel and the United States, which said a Palestinian state should be founded in agreement with Israel.

Israeli officials had no immediate response to Malki’s announcement. Previously, Israel has accused Abbas’ government of trying to evade negotiations which would entail territorial compromise and that he reassert control over Gaza, which he lost in 2007 to Hamas Islamists.

Malki’s remarks appeared to signal the Palestinians might put off the General Assembly vote at the United Nations until after the US election in November, in the run-up to which President Barack Obama would be mindful of his pro-Israel constituency.

Geoffrey Anisman, spokesman for the US Embassy in Israel, reiterated the Obama administration’s call on Palestinians to pursue direct negotiations with Israel.

“We believe that one-sided actions at the UN will not produce progress or secure statehood for the Palestinians, and our message to the Palestinians remains the same,” he said.

Earlier on Saturday, the Palestinian Authority announced it has upgraded its diplomatic ties with Thailand after the latter recognized a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders.

In a joint statement, Thailand and the PA said that the Thai embassy in Amman will also deal with Palestinian affairs. Meanwhile, the Palestinian embassy in Malaysia will be charged with Thai affairs until a permanent mission can be established in Bangkok.

 

View original Ynet publication at: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4264275,00.html

One comment

  1. The Palestinian formula for advancement to peace has never changed. Israel makes MORE concessions, the Palestinians reject them and then make unbelievable & unrealistic demands. Israel, unable to meet such outrageous demands, makes more concessions (that are never reciprocated) and then turns to the int’l communities accusing Israel of ‘Not serious in their pursuit for peace’…..which brings on condemnation from the EU, UN and political pressure from the US.

    It’s time this insane cycle is broken by an extreme line of action. Continuing this ‘dance’ allows the world to sit quietly by as terrorism continues against the Jews.

    This status quo should no longer be tolerated by Jerusalem.

    There will be a change in the ‘atmosphere’ when Israel becomes an ‘Energy Exporter’ and the Russians will be on our gas rigs. Hezbollah will never attack them as readily as they would with American hands on board.

    In 2014, when this change will be a reality, Israel should do as the Palestinians do, i.e. ignore the process and make a unilateral decision. Israel’s Knesset must formally Annex what the world calls the West Bank.

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