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Mahmoud Abbas - making all thr right moves? Photo: AP
Mahmoud Abbas - making all thr right moves? Photo: AP
 
 

Israel concerned as PA's UN bid gains momentum

Admittance to UNESCO, France's decision to abstain in UNSC vote and Quartet's negotiations failure cause great concern among Israeli officials as UN prepares to deliberate over Palestinian bid

Attila Somfalvi
Published: 11.07.11, 00:10 / Israel News

Six weeks after what seemed like a diplomatic coup in New York, concerns are growing in Israel over the Palestinians' recent moves in the UN.

 

An Israeli official well versed in the matter told Ynet that "there was a crack among the block of states that were supposed to prevent the Palestinian declaration in the UN Security Council.

 

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The time that has elapsed since September, the Shalit prisoner swap deal, the Palestinians' efforts around the world and the inability of the Quartet to bring both sides to the negotiating table all create a problematic dynamic for Israel.

 

Netanyahu speaks at UN in Spetember (Photo: GPO)

 

"There is no longer a sense of impending war in the air as there was in September and that weakens the states that were supposed to stand against the Palestinians."

 

The deliberations over the Palestinian request will be held within the next few days and the concern among Israeli officials is that they "lost the momentum" and that the Palestinians' move is gathering speed.

 

Moreover, France has announced that it intends to abstain in the UNSC vote, a move that increases the chances that the US will need to veto the Palestinian bid, a step the US was trying to avoid at all costs.

 

Yet in spite of these developments and the Palestinians' recent admittance to UNESCO, officials in Washington said that "there are assessments claiming that the Palestinians will not rush to pursue admittance to additional international organizations, admittance that will force the US to halt monetary transfers to those organizations.

 

'Price tag' reaction?

"It is still unclear," said one senior Israeli functionary. "At the moment there are conflicting assessments."

 

Meanwhile, Israel is formulating a series of steps with which to respond to the Palestinian moves. One official referred to the steps as a kind of "price tag" reaction to the Palestinians' unilateral moves.

 

"The Palestinians need to know that they will not be able to proceed without some form of Israeli response."

 

The official reiterated his doubts over the efficiency of halting the transfer of funds to the Palestinian Authority, a move that may hurt the Authority's ability to pay the salaries of the security personnel who prevent terrorist activities against Israel.

 

 

 

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