PA to Ask UN Security Council for Statehood on Sept 23

The Palestinian Authority says it will apply to the U.N. Security Council on Friday, Sept. 23, for statehood recognition and UN membership.

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Chana Ya'ar,

Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
Israel news photo: Official PLO Photo

The Palestinian Authority has announced it will submit its application to the United Nations Security Council to appeal for recognition as a new country and attain acceptance in the body.

PA Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki announced Thursday that the entity plans to submit its bid for full U.N. membership with the Council on Friday, September 23. The announcement ended speculation that Abbas would consider alternate plans forwarded by various diplomats who had frantically tried to dissuade the PA from pursuing a unilateral course via the U.N.

Nevertheless, a parade of envoys from the United States, the European Union and the Quartet of Nations (comprised of the U.S., Russia, the EU and the U.N.) are still engaged in trying to persuade the PA to return to the negotiating table with Israel.

“We will see if any of them is carrying a credible offer that will allow us to look into it seriously,” al-Maliki told reporters in Ramallah. “Otherwise, on the 23rd at 12:30 p.m. [Abbas] will submit the application.”

The United States, a permanent member of the Council, has already announced that it will exercise its veto to block the move.

Al-Malki's announcement confirmed a similar statement by a Fatah official Wednesday at a news conference in Ramallah.

“We are going to the United Nations, we are going to the Security Council,” said Dr. Mohammad Shtayyeh. “We are going to seek full membership based on [the] 1967 borders.” A report in Ha'aretz quoted Shtayyeh as saying that Damascus-based Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal had expressed support for the move. The report is questionable, however, given previous statements by Hamas officials who in recent days have made an effort to distance themselves from Ramallah's upcoming statehood bid at the U.N.

Earlier this week, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas called on Arab countries worldwide to devote September 23 to "supporting the Palestinian state."

In an interview on Egyptian national television, Abbas hinted that veto by the United States would prevent the PA from participating in various international institutions – including the International Criminal Court at The Hague. The PA has made every effort to use such institutions in lawfare attempts to attack the State of Israel.

The PA has made various claims against Israel, including accusations of "apartheid." However, the umbrella organization that must make the official application on its behalf to the United Nations -- the Palestine Liberation Organization, which is still technically the "sole representative of the Palestinian people" -- announced Tuesday that any future PA country will be Jew-free.  The announcement was subsequently dismissed by the PA's Minister for Religious Endowments, Mahmoud al-Habash, however. Al-Habash claimed that any new PA  country would "welcome all faiths." 

The PA chairman is scheduled to address PA Arabs – at least in Judea and Samaria – on Friday, Sept. 16. It is not clear whether his broadcast will be aired in Gaza, which is controlled by the Hamas terrorist organization.