Palestinians withhold formal statehood bid giving talks with Israel last chance

Palestinian bureaucrats have completed all the legal paperwork necessary to gain entry into 63 U.N. agencies, treaties & conventions, but haven’t yet applied for membership, giving the latest U.S. peace effort a ‘chance to succeed’, says Saeb Erekat.

By Daniel Siryoti, Shlomo Cesana, News Agencies & Israel Hayom Staff


The Palestinians have done all the legal work necessary to join 63 U.N. agencies, conventions and treaties, but have not yet applied for membership, mainly to give the latest U.S. peace effort a chance to succeed, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said Monday. And on Tuesday, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who has been tasked with coordinating peace talks with the Palestinians, said the Palestinian Authority was planning to apply as a state to 16 international organizations if peace talks with Israel did not resume by June. Last year, Israel suffered a significant diplomatic defeat when the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly voted to give “Palestine” nonmember observer state status.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas – Photo AP

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas – Photo: AP

Briefing the members of the influential Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Tuesday on her recent talks with Secretary of State John Kerry, Livni said there were positive signs in the recent Arab League declaration of interest in renewed peace talks, and that Israel could not afford to remain in a vacuum.