Abbas at Doha conference
Abbas at Doha conferenceReuters

The Palestinian Authority announced Monday it plans to approach the United Nations to investigate the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. It also blamed Israel for trying to thwart the effort.

The PA’s Foreign Minister, Riyad al-Malki, told the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency the PA will be asking the UN Human Rights Council to appoint an international fact-finding commission “to come to the occupied Palestinian territory to witness firsthand the illegal Israeli practices violating Palestinian people’s rights.”

Al-Maliki said that such a commission “will reveal the false claims Israel makes during international circles.”

He also claimed Israel opposes the idea because it “will eventually lead to more resolutions supporting Palestinian rights” and adding, “It is not surprising at all that Israel refuses to cooperate with fact-finding commissions.”

Al-Maliki added, “It is natural that the PA addresses international organizations seeking to maintain Palestinian rights, expose false Israeli claims, and hold Israel responsible for all its violations against Palestinian rights.”

He said the PA will try and pass international resolutions demanding basic rights, including freedom of movement, freedom of expression and freedom to access Muslim and Christian holy sites.

“The efforts Israel is exerting to foil Palestinian diplomatic and political endeavors have failed so far and Palestine has recruited huge support and that will be reflected when the UN Human Rights Council votes on the Palestinian bid,” Al-Maliki claimed.

The probe should look into “attempts to confiscate land and settler violence along with the impact of settlement expansion on Palestinian life and basic human rights,” he said, adding that the proposal for an inquiry was formally tabled on Friday.

Al-Malki also said that if Israel denies the UN commission access, the PA will go back to the UN Human Rights Council seeking a response which will eventually result in more condemnations against Israel by the international community.

“Certainly we coordinate our steps,” he said. “First, we will wait for the resolution to pass; second, for the committee to be formed; third, for the UN to demand Israel allow the committee to enter.”

Yigal Palmor, spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry, was quoted by Ma’an as having said when asked about the fact finding mission, “This is another move by the Palestinians to dodge negotiations and choose a strategy of confrontation. We hope that the countries who aspire to end the conflict through a peace agreement will reject this request.”

On Monday it was reported that a UN report which says the PA’s statehood bid is on shaky ground will be submitted this Wednesday in Brussels, at a meeting of donors to the PA cause.

The report, which points out there has been “little progress” made by the entity politically and otherwise, notes that “political and financial pressure on the Palestinian Authority has only increased.”

Meanwhile, the PA is embarking on a new economic tactic to challenge Israeli authority over Jewish areas in Judea and Samaria, commonly known as “Area C” and which includes most of the land area in Judea and Samaria.

On Monday it was reported that the PA told the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee in Brussels last week that it is asking donors to earmark money for development in Area C.