The Palestinian foreign minister says the Palestinians will try to bypass the UN Security Council if the US vetoes their attempt to win independence.
If peace talks remain deadlocked, the Palestinians plan to seek UN recognition of an independent state in September.
Security Council approval is needed to gain acceptance as a UN member. But President Barack Obama has signaled the US will use its veto power in the council.
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The Palestinian foreign minister, Riad Maliki, said Wednesday that the Palestinians will seek an emergency session of the General Assembly known as "Uniting for Peace" to override any veto.
The move is certain to set off legal wrangling. And Malki acknowledged the Palestinians still do not have the required two-thirds support in the assembly.
Emergency General Assembly session? (Photo: Reuters)
Mobilizing support for statehood
Palestinian top UN diplomat Riyad Mansour told a group of reporters Wednesday that the Palestinian people are ready to take to the streets peacefully as they did in 1987, and follow in the footsteps of Tunisians and Egyptians earlier this year, to demand an end to Israel's occupation and independence.
Mansour indicated that a key Palestinian goal in the coming months is to increase the number of states recognizing Palestine from 112 at present to 130 or 140, more than the two-thirds required, and to increase pressure on President Barack Obama's administration.
"I need to mobilize the largest number of forces, whether in the ground or in the political front or in the recognition, where I make it possible to prevail on our agenda in September," Mansour said.
He said the readiness of the Palestinian people "is extremely high - it's exactly like the Egyptians, the Tunisians and other Arabs who are taking their cause in their hands."
Mansour said if diplomacy and peaceful protests aren't sufficient, "we have other tactics that we can use in order to flex additional muscles in order to make it very, very difficult for anyone to obstruct our effort." But he refused to elaborate on what those tactics might be.
Hoping for global support. Riyad Mansour (Photo: AP)
Erekat prioritizes UN membership
Also Wednesday, PLO Executive Committee member Saeb Erekat said that the Palestinians must focus on obtaining UN membership.
In a paper submitted to the committee and the Arab League, Erekat listed the options the Palestinians have as long as the peace talks remain deadlocked, which he attributed to "the Israelis' insistence to build settlements."
In the article, published by the London-Based al-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper, Erekat explained that there is a difference between trying to get recognition for a Palestinian state and joining the UN as a fully-fledged member state. The Palestinians must turn to the US before a veto is cast, he claimed.
"Recognition is one thing and membership is another," he wrote.
The Palestinian official asserts that a member status will enable the PA to renew negotiations and discuss all core issues.
"We must open a strategic dialogue with the US administration regarding the UN membership issue," he noted.
"A US veto will render this impossible. If we turn to the General Assembly after the veto, Palestine will become a 'non-member state.' That is entirely different to a situation where the UN recognizes Palestine as a full member, which is being occupied by another member state."
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