Abbas Names Date for UN Statehood
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has named a date for the PA’s next statehood bid. Abbas said Saturday that he will ask the UN General Assembly to recognize a “state of Palestine” on September 27.
The date is just over one year after Abbas’ first statehood bid, in which the PA sought recognition of statehood from the Security Council. It will come one day after Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement.
His appeal to the General Assembly is considered far more likely to yield success. The Security Council bid was met by a lack of support from the United States and from European countries, but in the General Assembly Abbas enjoys a virtually guaranteed majority.
“There are 133 countries that now recognize us as a state with east Jerusalem as its capital, and where we have embassies hoisting the Palestinian flag,” Abbas proclaimed Saturday, AFP reports.
Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon previously admitted that the PA enjoys an automatic majority in the General Assembly, and said the Foreign Ministry’s plan is to focus on maintaining objection to the unilateral statehood bid among Western democracies. If Abbas wins a majority without winning a majority of democracies, the vote will lack meaning, he argued.
Likud MK Danny Danon has called to respond to Abbas’ latest unilateral move by unilaterally annexing Judea and Samaria. “We need to say clearly that if they want to start a one-sided process, we’ll answer them in their own language,” he declared.
Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations has predicted that the PA will win non-member observer status as it hopes, but noted that the upgrade in status “will change nothing on the ground.”