Daily Israel Report

PA Unveils UN Membership Resolution

PA envoys unveil the resolution they hope will give them observer membership at the United Nations.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 11/9/2012, 5:13 AM

Abbas addresses UN Genearal Assembly
Abbas addresses UN Genearal Assembly
AFP/Timothy A. Clary

Envoys from the Palestinian Authority on Thursday unveiled the resolution they hope will give them observer membership at the United Nations but held back from setting a date for a vote, AFP reported.

Arab League foreign ministers are to discuss the resolution next week, diplomats told AFP.

The PA’s mission to the United Nations sent a letter to UN members with its proposed resolution, saying it would be put to the 193 member UN General Assembly "at a date to be announced in the near future."

The resolution would call on the assembly to accord observe membership and urge the 15-nation UN Security Council to "consider favorably" an application for full membership made last year by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

The United States has blocked the full membership bid, threatening to use a veto at the Security Council, which must approve any full application. It cannot hold up any bid for observer membership at the General Assembly.

The PA’s application is certain to be passed at the General Assembly but the question would be how big a majority it would get if the United States opposes the resolution.

Arab League foreign ministers are to meet on November 12-13 and could set a date for a vote if Abbas agrees, UN diplomats said, according to AFP.

The draft resolution "reaffirms the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination" on the basis of Israeli-Arab borders before the 1967 Six Day War.

The resolution highlights "the urgent need for the resumption and acceleration of negotiations" between the two sides to settle the questions of refugees, Jerusalem, settlements, borders, security, water and prisoners.

Abbas formally announced in September that the PA would ask the General Assembly to grant it "super-observer" status that could give it access to UN institutions and agencies.

Kol Yisrael radio reported on Thursday night that the PA will likely table the resolution on November 29.

Channel 10 News reported earlier this week that Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has threatened that if the PA goes ahead with its unilateral statehood bid he “will work to ensure the PA will collapse.”

Lieberman reportedly stressed that a unilateral statehood bid by the PA will "put an end to the chances to resume peace negotiations."

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that he remains ready to sit down for final status talks with the PA leader.

"Only in direct negotiations will it be possible to clarify what the true positions are. Generally, I can say that if Abu Mazen is really serious and intends to advance peace, as far as I am concerned, we can sit together immediately. Jerusalem and Ramallah are only seven minutes apart; I am ready to start negotiations today,” Netanyahu said bluntly.

"I will take this opportunity to again call on President Abbas to return to the negotiating table without preconditions, because peace may be advanced only around the negotiating table and not via unilateral decisions in the United Nations General Assembly, which will only push peace further away and will only lead to instability.”

The Obama administration has indicated that it opposes the PA’s unilateral move and said it would “make the case” at the UN for Israeli- PA talks when Abbas submits his bid.