Abbas: Say 'Palestine'

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas orders all institutions to stop using the term Palestinian Authority and start using "State of Palestine".

Elad Benari ,

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas

Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has ordered all of the PA's institutions to stop using the term "Palestinian National Authority" on official documents, the Saudi Gazette reports.

The report cited the PA-based Wafa news agency as having said that Abbas asked the institutions to replace 'Palestinian Authority' with the term 'the State of Palestine' in accordance with the UN recognition of Palestine as a non-member observer state.

The report said that the change went into effect immediately, and was applied to official documents, seals and medals.

The PA's embassies should “coordinate the change with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs” to handle it with the countries that opposed the move at the UN General Assembly, said the Saudi Gazette.

The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), with whom Israel signed the Oslo Accords, will not change its official documents, signs and seals, the report indicated.

According to the Saudi Gazette, senior PLO official Saeb Erekat has recommended that the Palestinian Authority add the label “State of Palestine” to all of its official documents and signs. He also suggested that the PA prepare a new constitution, achieve reconciliation with Hamas, and seek membership in UN conventions and agencies following the upgrading of the status.

The PLO official was quoted as having said that following the UN vote, the “occupation has become an occupation of a member of the UN by another member. This requires creating a new political dynamic and approach between the international community and Israel.”

Abbas expressed hope this past week that the coming year would see the implementation of a Palestinian state.

Lighting a torch in the grounds of his Ramallah headquarters to start the celebrations of the 48th anniversary of his Fatah movement, he referred to the UN vote as the "birth certificate" of a Palestinian state.

"We have a birth certificate... and we want to complete the march toward full independence," Abbas said. "Next year, 2013, will be the year of statehood and independence."

The West insists that a Palestinian state must be achieved through peace negotiations with Israel, but since 2009 Abbas has refused to come to the negotiating table with Israel and has continuously tried to impose preconditions on talks.

One of his longstanding demands is that Israel accept the pre-1967 lines as final borders. He has also demanded that Israel release all Arab terrorists from its jails, and halt construction in Judea, Samaria and east Jerusalem for a second time before talks begin. At the same time, he has refused to recognize Israel’s right to exist. His Fatah party's newly adopted logo shows all of Israel as Palestine.