Daily Israel Report

Arab League Submitting PA Statehood Bid

The Arab League plans to back the PA's bid for statehood at the UN in September as Russia scuttles the Quartet's plans to openly oppose the move.
By Gabe Kahn.
First Publish: 7/14/2011, 4:57 PM / Last Update: 7/14/2011, 7:34 PM

The Arab League will apply to upgrade the Palestinian Authority to full member status at the United Nations, according to a draft statement from a league meeting in Qatar, Reuters reported Thursday.

"It was decided to go to the United Nations to request the recognition of the state of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital and to move ahead and request a full membership," the draft said.

The statement did not provide a time line, but did indicate the application would be made in time for the UN General Assembly in September.

Jordan, an Arab League member, has said it will oppose the PA bid.

Full member status would require approval in the Security Council. The United States, one of the five permanent members of the council, has intimated to the PA it will exercise its veto on the move.

The PA, which currently hold UN "observer" status, has repeatedly pledged in bellicose terms it will seek UN endorsement in September in hopes of claiming sovereignty over Judea, Samaria, and Gaza.

In addition, the state of the long-defunct peace process following Monday's Quartet meeting was reaffirmed when it failed to issue a joint statement or formula for renewing negotiations. The Quartet is made up of the US, EU, Russia and the UN.

Israeli officials declined to discuss whether the reason for the Quartet's malaise stems only from Israel-PA disputes, or from  disagreements between the Quartet members themselves.

It has been widely reported Russia blocked the Quartet's desire to insist that the PA recognize Israel as a Jewish state, to openly reject the PA's insistence negotiations be based on the 1949 Armistice lines, and to oppose the PA's intended bid for statehood at the UN.

Abbas on Tuesday expressed disappointment over the failure of the Quartet representatives to issue a statement.

The PA was hoping that the Quartet members would call, following their meeting in Washington, for the resumption of the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks on the basis of the 1949 lines.

The PA was also hoping that the Quartet would call for a complete cessation of settlement construction.

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat accused the Quartet of succumbing to Israeli “pressure.”

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Leiberman has warned any unilateral moves by the PA would result in Israel adopting "an eye for an eye" diplomatic stance.