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      PA Spurns Netanyahu Concession

      PA officials dismissed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's acceptance of pre-1967 borders as a basis for negotiations as "publicity stunt."
      By Gabe Kahn.
      First Publish: 8/5/2011, 1:30 PM

      Saeb Erekat
      Saeb Erekat
      Flash 90

      Palestinian Authority officials said Thursday they will pursue their statehood bid at the United Nations despite Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's offer to use the pre-1967 lines as a basis for negotiations.

      Senior PA official Saeb Erekat characterized Netanyahu's concession as a publicity stunt intended to disuade the PA from its unilateral statehood bid outside the framework Oslo Accords that allow it to exist.

      "The Palestinian train is now heading towards New York," Erekat said during an Arab League committee meeting in Doha, Qatar late Wednesday.

      "Members of the committee reached a final agreement to request the full support for a Palestinians state within the 1967 borders with its capital Jerusalem," he said after the meeting.

      The statehood request "will be ready to present before the next UN General Assembly session" in September, said Erekat.

      Bilateral talks between Israel and the PLO have been on hold for almost two years with PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas periodically insisting on preconditions for talks known from the outset to be unacceptable to Israel.

      But despite the PLO's visceral drive towards September they are faced with a promise of a Security Council veto by the United States, who insists PA officials return to the negotiating table.

      Erekat has repeatedly urged the US government to "reconsider its position" to no avail.

      Former US ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton has said a US veto would render the PA bid essentially meaningless.