Saeb Erekat
Photo: AFP
Palestinians seek EU support for independence
Chief negotiator Erekat says PA asked EU to back largely symbolic plan to ask UN to recognize unilateral Palestinian declaration of statehood. Sources in West Bank tell Ynet Solana among those who support idea

The Palestinians have asked the European Union to support their plan to ask the UN to recognize an independent Palestinian state without Israeli consent.


The plan appears to be largely symbolic, given that the US, Israel's chief ally, would likely veto such an initiative at the United Nations. The move, however, reflects growing Palestinian frustration with the deadlock in peace efforts.


That state would be made up of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and have east Jerusalem as its capital.

Israel captured those territories in 1967. It pulled out of Gaza in 2005, but has annexed east Jerusalem and maintains a military occupation in the West Bank.


Palestinian official Saeb Erekat says the request to the EU was made Monday.


Palestinian sources told Ynet that some EU officials have expressed their support for the move. They said EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana was one of the first to back the idea of asking the UN Security Council to declare the establishment of a Palestinian state.


However, the Palestinian sources refused to speculate as to what would be the position of EU states that are members of the Security Council.


Earlier Monday, former Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia told Ynet, "So far we have made negotiations our top priority, but this has led nowhere apart from additional settlements, creating facts on the ground and reinforcing the process of Judaizing Jerusalem."


Qureia, a member of the PLO's Executive Committee, added that "as people living under occupation, we are committed to looking into other options. Diplomacy is an option, turning to the UN is an option, the popular struggle is an option. All options are available and we have many possibilities." 


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