Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Photo: MCT

'Palestinian bid can't be swept under rug'

A day before Security Council set to hold first hearing on Palestinian statehood bid, officials in Jerusalem say vote cannot be delayed for long; Netanyahu set to convene forum of top eight ministers over Quartet's proposal

NEW YORK – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to land Monday morning in Israel, on the day that the Security Council is set to hold its first hearing on the Palestinian request for full membership in the United Nations.


A senior government official estimated that the discussion at the Security Council will be the first in a series of meetings that will be stretched over a period of time. However, the source noted that he does not believe the vote can be "delayed for too long, or swept underneath the rug."


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The Palestinians need to secure the vote of a majority of nine out of 15 states at the Security Council, which is currently chaired by Lebanon, in order to embarrass the United States and force it to use its veto power.


In recent days, the Americans have expressed optimism over the possibility of persuading the swinging votes to reject the Palestinian bid or abstain from the vote.


Hero's welcome

Meanwhile on Sunday, Thousands of Palestinians gathered in the West Bank town of Ramallah to give a hero's welcome to President Mahmoud Abbas, who returned from his visit to the United Nations, where he appealed for recognition of a Palestinian state.


"This is the popular spring for Palestine," Abbas declared while calling for a non-violent struggle. "Raise your heads with pride, you are Palestinians," he told the cheering crowds.


Prior to his return, Abbas suggested that he was likey to reject a peacemaking blueprint put forward by the Mideast Quartet on Friday, which called the parties to return to the negotiations table, saying he would not agree to any proposal that disregarded the Palestinian conditions for a resumption of peace talks.


Meanwhile, Netanyahu welcomed the proposal, and is expected to convene the forum of top eight ministers upon his return to Israel in order to formulate an official response to the Quartet's blueprint.


Sources close to the prime minister noted that "there is no reason for him to make the decision alone, when he wants and needs the backing of all the ministers."




פרסום ראשון: 09.26.11, 00:42
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