One of the arguments being used in talks with the Palestinians is that launching such a move before the Israeli elections will play into the hands of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, put an end to efforts to restart peace talks and weaken leftist and centrist forces.
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Western diplomats fear that the Israeli elections will result in a tougher Israeli response to the Palestinian UN bid going as far as to suggest that Israel might annex territories, annul the Oslo Accords and adopt the Levy report.
Israeli officials estimate that despite US and European pressure, the Palestinians are determined to take their bid to the UN either on November 15 – the day Arafat declared independence in 1988 or on November 29 – the day the UN voted in favor of the Partition Plan and the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.
Abbas addresses General Assembly (Photo: AP)
Reports suggest that Norway has drafted a General Assembly resolution proposing that the PA receive non-member state status in exchange for pledging to immediately resume peace talks.
Norway hopes to secure the support of all 27 members of the European Union, but it appears that not all European nations agree on the matter.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority is gearing for the possibility that its UN status will be upgraded and is preparing a number of diplomatic steps against Israel.
The Palestinians are working on International Court of Justice lawsuits charging Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and settler leaders with war crimes.
The Foreign Ministry on its part is working to contain the effect of the Palestinian bid. Israeli embassies have been instructed to present foreign leaders with Palestinian leaders' statement promising they will restart negotiations without pre-conditions if their bid is accepted.
Israel is hoping to show that the Palestinians ultimately seek a diplomatic conflict and not peace talks.
Itamar Eichner is a Ynet and Yedioth Ahronoth correspondent
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