Officials in London may support an elevation of the diplomatic status of PLO officials in Britain and raise the status of the Palestinian representative’s office to a full diplomatic mission, Israel’s daily news site Ynet reported Monday.
France, the United States, Portugal and Norway have already upgraded the PLO mission status in their capital cities, while seven South American nations have gone further, and formally recognized a Palestinian state on the 1967 border, the area Israel occupied in that year’s war.
On Sunday, Paraguay’s Foreign Minister Hector Lacognata gave a spring 2011 deadline for the country’s recognition of a Palestinian state on the lands occupied by Israel in 1967.
The UK move would give ambassador status to officials who are currently representatives in London. The new status would be equal to the officials representing any other sovereign state.
Coming one day after a dovish Israeli cabinet minister warned that the increasing number of countries recognizing Palestine as a state could lead to an international recognition of Palestinian statehood, with MK Ben Eliezer telling reporters before a cabinet meeting that “I would not be surprised if within a year the entire world, even the US, recognizes a Palestinian state, then we will have to explain how this happened.”
Israel opposes any recognition of a Palestinian state, saying its establishment must be reached through negotiations and not through unilateral moves, a stance that the United States supports, though it was among the first to upgrade the PLO’s diplomatic status in Washington.
According to Israeli daily newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, officials in the Israeli government were surprised by the potential British act in light of the fact that the Conservative government is considered pro-Israel.