PA Threatens to Join More International Organizations
The Palestinian Authority’s (PA) envoy to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, threatened on Tuesday that the PA would join more international organizations, reported The Associated Press (AP).
Mansour told a UN meeting that the PA will officially become a party to the 15 international conventions it has applied to join on May 3, adding that it is ready with more applications, depending on Israel’s actions.
He also urged the world to boycott products from “illegal” Israeli settlements, according to AP.
At the same time, he claimed that the PA is ready to resume U.S.-mediated peace talks with Israel, which appeared in recent days to be headed for collapse.
But he warned that if the Israelis aren’t prepared to negotiate “in good faith,” the PA will be forced “to move into the next stage of holding them accountable for all of their illegal behavior in all fronts, politically, diplomatically and legally.”
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has threatened to respond if the PA proceeded with the applications, and Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett said that, as a result of the move, the PA could be brought to justice before the International Criminal Court over war crimes.
Meanwhile on Tuesday, Secretary of State John Kerry, who brought the two sides back to the negotiating table last July, blamed Israel for the breakdown of peace talks last week.
"Israel didn't release the Palestinian prisoners on the day they were supposed to be freed, and another day passed, and another day, and then another 700 settlement units were announced in Jerusalem, and 'poof'...that was sort of the moment," remarked Kerry before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Later, however, the State Department quickly stated that Kerry did not intend to point the finger at the Jewish state.
"Secretary Kerry was clear when he said that both sides took unhelpful steps, and at no point did he take part in the blame game," claimed State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki. "More than that, Kerry clarified that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu made courageous decisions throughout the process."