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      PLO Votes to Press UN Statehood Bid

      PLO officials have resolved to demand a vote on their statehood bid in the UN Security Council despite a promised US veto.
      By Gabe Kahn.
      First Publish: 12/26/2011, 9:16 PM

      PLO executive committee member Bassam Al Salhi told Gulf News, "Even if the vote fails at the UN Security Council, we will submit a fresh request demanding a UN full member state."

      To obtain full statehood recognition for the Palestinian Authority the application must gain nine affirmative votes in the 15-member decision-making Security Souncil before a General Assembly vote can be held. In addition, the application must avoid a negative recommendation from any of the five permanent Security Council members.

      At present PA officials have garnered insufficient votes in the council for their application to be approved in addition to facing a promised negative recommendation from the veto-wielding United States - rendering it a dead letter.

      "We strictly reject the US pressure as the Palestinian UN application is an irreversible move," he added. "We will never cave in to threats and pressure, but will continue with our diplomatic efforts."

      International observers say the current composition of the security council and persistent US opposition means the PA bid will have little more than propaganda value.

      The move comes on the heels of an announcement by Abbas that he and Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh had agreed the Islamic movement and its terror confederates would be inducted into the PLO

      Last week senior PLO officials said the organization planned to downgrade its bilateral diplomatic agreements in favor of a unilateral track at the United Nations..

      The PLO has decided to pursue "a strategy based on continuous efforts along with the international community to secure full recognition and full United Nations membership, pursuing internal reconciliation, and keeping up the popular resistance," PLO official Wasel Yousuf said.

      While popular resistance is ostensibly non-violent, in reality it has included violent riots and firebomb and stoning attacks on security personnel and Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria - and runs concurrent with terror attacks from allied groups bent on Israel's destruction.

      Both Hamas and the PLO maintain that armed resistance is the only means to liberate Palestine, which they say is indivisible - leaving no room for the Jewish state.

      Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has said the induction of Hamas into the PLO means there will be no peace talks in the foreseeable future.

      The so-called peace process has been moribund for two years due to PA officials placing maximalist preconditions on negotiations aimed at ensuring talks do not take place.

      Israel previously froze construction in Judea and Samaria for 10-months to meet PA demands only to be rebuffed and given additional preconditions - including the release of all terrorists from its prisons and agreeing to use the pre-1967 lines as the basis for a future PA state.

      Prior to the decision to induct Hamas into the PLO Israel had said it was willing to begin negotiations immediately without preconditions from either side.

      The PA unilateral track at the United Nations, Israeli officials say, is a direct violation of the bilateral 1993 Oslo Accords.