Erekat: If UN Bid Fails, We'll Join Statutes

PA chief negotiator threatens to apply for membership to 522 international organizations and statutes.

Elad Benari,

PA chief negotiator Saeb Erekat
PA chief negotiator Saeb Erekat
Reuters

The Palestinian Authority’s (PA) chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat, declared Tuesday that if the United States vetoed the PA’s UN resolution for a timetable to “end the Israeli occupation”, the PA would apply for membership to 522 international organizations and statutes.

Erekat said in a statement quoted by the Ma’an news agency that the PA should also seek recognition by EU countries, especially after the new Swedish prime minister's announcement that his country would recognize “Palestine” and the British parliament's symbolic vote to do the same.

"We have nothing to lose except loss itself," Erekat said in the statement, according to Ma’an.

He also claimed that it was crucial to seek such recognition in the wake of what he called “the Israeli assault on Gaza”, which Erekat said Israel conducted in order to "destroy" the two-state solution.

The Palestinian leadership must therefore act now, Erekat said.

"Palestinians refuse to turn the Palestinian Authority, which was created to take them from being under occupation to independence, to a national authority to pay for salaries and security coordination (with Israel)," he was quoted by Ma’an as having said.

In recent weeks, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has been promoting a unilateral move in the form of a UN Security Council resolution that will call for Israel to “end the occupation” (i.e. withdraw from Judea and Samaria) by November of 2016, thus setting the stage for the founding of a Palestinian state.

Abbas is able to do this due to his previous unilateral move in 2012, when he turned to the United Nations and received recognition as a non-member observer state by the General Assembly.

The plans for the resolution have been accompanied by threats from Abbas and his aides. Abbas recently threatened to cut ties with Israel if his latest unilateral move at the UN fails.

"If all efforts fail, we will end relations with Israel and I will tell Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, ‘Come and take over’. However, I will not dismantle the Palestinian Authority and I will submit a request to join all the organizations belonging to the UN," he declared.

Fatah leader Nabil Shaath recently threatened Israel with a “political war” if there is a negative response to Abbas’s steps at the United Nations.

The PA has also threatened several times that if peace talks fail, it would turn to international institutions and seek to sue Israel in the International Criminal Court.

In April, the PA requested to join 15 international agencies in breach of the conditions of the peace talks that were going on with Israel at that time, causing Israel to withdraw from the talks.




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