Palestinians to Approach UN for State Recognition

By Mohammed Mar’i – Ramallah

The Palestinian Authority (PA) will present the UN Security Council (UNSC) with a draft of a resolution declaring statehood in the coming days, a senior Palestinian official said on Wednesday.

Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, said in a press statement that the resolution is scheduled to be filed when Bosnia takes the UNSC’s presidency in January.

Erekat added that the Palestinian leadership is "waiting for Bosnia to take the presidency of the Security Council."� The Palestinian negotiator expressed his hope that the US would not veto the move.

He added that Australia, Japan, Korea and New Zealand would recognize the Palestinian state on the 1967 borders.

Erekat said that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will leave for Brazil on Wednesday to lay the cornerstone of the Palestinian Embassy there on Jan. 1. Brazil recognized the Palestinian state on the 1967 borders in early December.

According to Erekat "the Israeli government is witnessing an international isolation that it hasn’t witnessed before."�

According to other reports the Palestinians will submit a proposal calling for a Security Council resolution to halt Israeli settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said on Wednesday that Palestinians expect wider recognition of their statehood in the coming year and it will mean more than the mere "Facebook state" predicted by an Israeli minister.

Fayyad said recognition by many countries would "enshrine" the Palestinians’ right to a state in all of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, which Israel captured along with East Jerusalem in a 1967 war.

Seventeen years of peace efforts had failed to deliver this promise, he told reporters. The current Israeli coalition’s stated commitment to a two-state solution could not be relied on "given the erosion that has taken place," he said.

Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia and Ecuador announced recognition of Palestinian statehood in the past month. Chile, Mexico, Peru and Nicaragua are reported to be weighing the same move.

"These are welcome developments," Fayyad said.

However, the Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Ya’alon said that the US and Europe are straying from the idea of unilaterally establishing a Palestinian state.

The European Union has staved off Palestinian pressure in favor of waiting until an "appropriate" time, while the US House of Representatives passed a resolution this month saying only peace talks could set such a process in motion.

In September, the US-brokered peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians collapsed after Israel refused to extend a 10-month moratorium over freezing settlement constructions in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Abbas and other Palestinian officials had threatened to use other diplomatic options, including dissolving the Palestinian Authority, in case Israel keeps insisting not to freeze building settlements.

While the Palestinians say they are still committed to a negotiated peace deal, they have grown increasingly frustrated and have started taking alternative actions to put Israel on the defensive. As part of that campaign, they have been seeking unilateral recognition of an independent Palestinian state, even in the absence of a peace deal.

(Arab News and Agencies – www.arabnews.com)

Palestine Chronicle

Palestine Chronicle

The Palestine Chronicle publishes news and commentary related to the Middle East Peace Conflict.

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