Report: PA Agrees to Delay UN 'Palestine' Vote

PA officials said that they would hold off on a plan to demand that the UN Security Council recognize 'Palestine'

Yaakov Levi ,

Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
Flash 90

A day after Palestinian Authority chief negotiator Saeb Erekat threatened to join UN institutions and present a proposal to the UN Security Council as a method of getting the world to recognize “Palestine” - and thus put pressure on Israel to make major concessions – PA officials said that they would hold off on the plan to allow US Secretary of State John Kerry more time to pressure Israel himself.

US and Israeli officials have expressed opposition to the PA plan, which would entail presenting a proposal to the Security Council to declare "Palestine" a state. The resolution would require all 15 members of the Council to approve it, and a US veto is likely, but by forcing the US to confront the issue the PA is hoping to generate more international pressure on Israel to withdraw to the 1949 armistice lines, and abandon most of Jerusalem, analysts said.

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 - in violation of previous treaties with Israel. 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 PA news agency Ma’an.

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.

But on Wednesday, PA officials were quoted in Arab media as saying that they were willing to hold off on the plan. They added that they would be willing to resume negotiations with Israel – but only with preconditions, meaning that Israel would have to agree to the PA's demands in advance of any talks, according to Asharq al-Awsat. The preconditions would require concessions by Israel on borders and a complete end to all building in Judea, Samaria, and Jerusalem. The PA said that it would wait three months before moving forward with the plan, the PA said.

In 2012, the PA unilaterally turned to the United Nations and received recognition as a non-member observer state by the General Assembly. Since then, the PA has threatened several times that if peace talks fail, it would turn to international institutions and seek to sue Israel in the International Criminal Court.

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power, asked Tuesday about Abbas's call for a deadline, said, according to AP, "We strongly believe that the only way of a negotiated solution is through negotiations between the two parties."