After the recent “Nakba Day” and “Naksa Day” riots which included marches by Arabs towards Israel’s borders, the Palestinian Authority Arabs seem to have a new trick up their sleeve: a worldwide human chain in recognition of a Palestinian state.
Gaza-based youth have reportedly launched a Facebook campaign, in which they call for a “day of loyalty to the State of Palestine” on July 21. The campaign calls to create “the largest human chain” in order to pressure the international community to recognize the State of Palestine.
A statement distributed on the internet lists places in the Gaza Strip, in Judea and Samaria, in Arab states and in other countries in the world where people should converge to form this human chain. The statement encourages participants to gather outside Israeli embassies for this purpose.
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has been preparing to request a unilateral declaration of a PA state by the United Nations in September.
While he has said he would only go the UN to ask for a state if peace talks with Israel fail, Abbas has flatly refused to come to the negotiating table and has manufactured preconditions when pressured by the Quartet, especially the United States, to restart peace talks with Israel.
U.S. President Barack Obama has warned that a unilateral move by the PA would be a “mistake,” saying: “The only way we are going to see a Palestinian state is if Israelis and Palestinians agree on a just peace.”
Obama himself is hoping that Israel and the PA sit down for negotiations based on the principles he set out in his speech on May 19, in which he called for the border of Israel and the future Palestinian state to be “based on the 1967 lines [1949 armistice lines –ed.] with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states.”
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, meanwhile, has been working to persuade UN member countries not to support the PA’s bid for a state. On Sunday, Netanyahu left for Italy for a 25 hour visit in which he will meet with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in order try to persuade Rome not to support the bid.
Netanyahu previously met in Britain with Prime Minister David Cameron, during which Cameron reiterated his country’s support of Israel but added, “we think this is a moment of opportunity… to push forward the process of peace between Israel and Palestine,” hinting his country would support the PA’s bid.