Daily Israel Report

US Dismisses PA Draft Text Rumors

US ambassador to the UN Susan Rice dismissed rumors a draft text for the PA statehood bid exists - or that the US is negotiating one.
By Gabe Kahn.
First Publish: 9/16/2011, 12:59 PM

US Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice dismissed reports there is Palestinian Authority draft text for their statehood bid at the UN exists.

Rice's comments come amid a storm of rumors in the Jewish press over last minute talks whereby the PA would upgrade its UN status without joining to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

While the EU and the PA are trying to work out a compromise over the statehood bid officials in Ramallah have vowed to make at the Security Council on September 23, the US stated flatly it was not involved in the talks.

“We’re not negotiating any text, we’re not engaged in efforts to water down a text,” Rice said, adding, “We’re making the case that this is not a productive course.”

Rice dismissed as false rumors that a draft text even exists, but did say the Europeans were talking with the PA about the substance of a resolution.

“There is no Palestinian text yet,” she said. “Nobody in New York has seen one.”

Rice added that either way the Obama administration will veto any resolution the PA does bring to the Security Council, and urge others to do so, too.

She also said the PA move was ill-conceived, diversionary, short-sighted and self- defeating. She said it would only make negotiating a permanent peace more difficult.

“It’s hardly likely that Israel will be in the mood to go to the negotiating table after the drama here in New York,” Rice said.

Earlier Thursday political sources had claimed EU and PA were holding last minute talks in an attempt to reach a compromise over statehood bid which would allow Palestinians to upgrade UN membership status without joining International Criminal Court.

"There has been significant progress in the talks between the Europeans and the Palestinian Authority, so that they will be able to upgrade their status at the UN, but will not be able to join the International Criminal Court (ICC)," said the source.

However, a top PA official said the decision may still change depending on the outcome of urgent talks that are taking place with both the European Union and the United States. 

Amid the rumors Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said the Israeli position remained unchanged.

"The only way for a Palestinian state to come to be is through negotiations," Netanyahu repeated.

"The PA's decision (to appeal to the UNSC) could change tomorrow. I'll be at the UN. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will be at the UN. We could save the trip – Ramallah is only 10 minutes away. Direct negotiations are the simplest way to achieve peace.

"I hope that the Palestinians will eventually understand that there is no other alternative," he said.