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Report: Security Council to Discuss 'Palestine' This Month

Ahead of the PA's unilateral statehood bid in September, UN Security Council schedules "open debate" about Palestine later this month.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 7/6/2011, 5:47 AM / Last Update: 7/6/2011, 6:08 AM

The UN Security Council plans to discuss this month the possibility of Palestine becoming a United Nations member state, Reuters reported.

The report noted that an “open debate” on the Middle East has been scheduled for July 26, according to a provisional calendar for the Security Council for July.

Reuters quoted German Ambassador Peter Wittig, UN Security Council president, as having said: “I think (that) will be an occasion to explore the various options that might exist on the Palestinian side.” His comment came in response to a question about when the issue would be debated.

The report comes as the Quartet of peacekeeping nations – the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations – is set to meet on July 11. The Quartet will discuss during the meeting the planned bid by the Palestinian Authority to obtain recognition at the United Nations as a new independent country.

According to Reuters, Wittig pointed to the Quartet meeting as a possible indicator on the situation of the Palestinian state.

Palestinian Authority officials have long been planning to ask the UN to recognize a Palestinian state along the 1949 Armistice Lines and have already announced their intentions to do so this coming September.

The PA plans to claim all lands restored to Israel in the 1967 Six Day War, including territories in Judea and Samaria, as well as nearly half of Israel’s capital, Jerusalem.

The United States has publicly said it would be a mistake for the PA to create their country through an appeal to the United Nations, insisting such a state must be achieved through peace negotiations.

The U.S. has been trying to get Israel and the PA back to the negotiating table, but the PA has sent a list of four preconditions to the Quartet, insisting that it would not agree to renew negotiations unless Israel and the European Union agreed to meet every one of its demands.

These demands include a complete halt to all Israeli construction in Judea and Samaria and east Jerusalem, an agreement that the 1949 Armistice lines with mutually-agreed land swaps are the basis for talks, European Union support for PA reconciliation efforts between Fatah and Hamas, and EU support for a PA declaration of statehood in the UN.