No place for Israeli threats as Palestine seeks UN recognition

The Palestinian Authority (PA) and Fatah strongly condemned on Tuesday the Israeli threat of responding with a series of unilateral steps of its own should the PA insist on gaining UN recognition for a Palestinian state in September

  • By Nasouh Nazzal, Correspondent
  • Published: 17:23 March 29, 2011

Ramallah: The Palestinian Authority (PA) and Fatah strongly condemned on Tuesday the Israeli threat of responding with a series of unilateral steps of its own should the PA insist on gaining UN recognition for a Palestinian state in September.

Israel has said its steps may include annexation of major colony blocks and applying Israeli law to the whole of the West Bank.

The PA said it considered the Israeli threats as unacceptable political coercion and added that the Israelis could not threaten the entire international community and go totally against the resolutions of the UN General Assembly and Security Council.

A senior official of Fatah told Gulf News that the PA was engaged in a political and diplomatic confrontation with Israel and added that the Palestinians would never back down.

September will be the time when the entire world would vote in favour of recognition of a Palestinian state, should the deadlock in the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations remain in place, the official said.

The Israelis should give up their threats and handle the situation in a political and diplomatic way, the official said. The threats only make the current situation worse and more complicated, widening the gap between the two sides.

The official said the Palestinians were sure about a unanimous international agreement on the recognition of their state in September, and the Israelis should be wise enough to affect a suitable change in their position to avoid escalation of tensions.

The Israeli daily Haaretz reported on Tuesday that Israel would take unilateral steps if the UN recognised a Palestinian state.

A senior Israeli Foreign Ministry official said the ministry’s director general, Rafael Barak, had sent a classified cable to more than 30 Israeli embassies instructing them to lodge a diplomatic protest at the highest possible level in response to the Palestinian efforts to gain international recognition for statehood at the UN General Assembly session in September.

The Israeli diplomats argued that support for international recognition of a Palestinian state would encourage the Palestinians to give up negotiations with the Israelis.

They also say international recognition violates the Oslo Accord, which, from the Israeli perspective, is the only possible ground for Palestinian statehood.

European diplomats said with the current deadlock in negotiations between Israel and the PA, international recognition of Palestinian statehood appeared unavoidable in September.

In fact, so confident is Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that he is even reported to have told an Israeli delegation on an unofficial visit that there was no October 2011 on his schedule.

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