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Working on votes. Abbas Photo: AFP
Working on votes. Abbas Photo: AFP
 
 

PA official: This September will be different

Ramallah source says upcoming UN statehood bid will not resemble last year's; says Abbas will directly turn to General Assembly; Palestinians have been hard at work garnering support for vote

Elior Levy
Published: 08.05.12, 00:28 / Israel News

The Palestinian Authority decided to renew its statehood bid during the upcoming United Nations General Assembly in September, but political sources in Ramallah say that this year's campaign will differ from the previous one.

 

"The decision is not dramatic. What will happen in the upcoming September will not resemble last September; it’s a different story this time," a Ramallah official told Ynet.

 

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The difference between the bids is that last year the Palestinians turned directly to the Security Council, which is the only UN body that id authorized to grant the Palestinians the status of a full member in the organization.

 


אבו מאזן בעצרת האו"ם הקודמת (צילום: EPA) 

'This time it'll be different.' (Photo: EPA)

 

Last year, the Palestinians failed to garner the majority they needed in order to pass the vote at the Security Council.

 

This time, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas plans to turn to the General Assembly, where the Palestinians are guaranteed an automatic majority. However, the General Assembly cannot grant the Palestinians full membership, but only upgrade their status to that of a non-member observer state. This status will enable them to seek membership in several UN agencies and at the International Criminal Court.

 

Another distinction is that this time, Abbas will carry a speech in which he will formally announce the Palestinians' request. The Assembly will then be tasked with setting a date for the vote.

 

'Ongoing struggle'

Earlier, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki told reporters that Ramallah is seeking to secure 180 votes out of the 193-member body.

 

"We are looking forward to getting 180 votes," Malki said. "We will become a non-member (observer) state in 2012." Once that was achieved, he said, the Palestinians would pursue full UN membership. However that would require approval by the Security Council - and Washington.

 

"This is an ongoing struggle that will not stop and which we will continue to the end," Malki said.

 

Meanwhile, the Ramallah official noted that the Palestinians are already working around the clock to secure the majority needed at the General Assembly. "We have people working vigorously to garner support, and they have been sent around the world in order to discuss our goal and ask for votes.

 

"For example, tomorrow we are hosting representatives from non-aligned states in Ramallah, which is also part of our diplomatic efforts," he added.

 

Whether the General Assembly vote ends up taking place or not, the Palestinian Authority has been circulating an internal document that details the possible Israeli responses to the Palestinian bid.

 

According to the document, some of scenarios include the cancellation of the Oslo Accords, annexation of the settlement bloc and east Jerusalem and unilateral Israeli withdrawal to the security fence.

 

In addition, the Palestinians are predicting that Israel might freeze the transfer of tax payments to the Authority, and erect more roadblocks in order to obstruct the freedom of movement of Palestinians.

 

 

 

 

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