The Palestinian Authority has reaffirmed its determination to go to the UN General Assembly in September in light of Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to US Congress. The PA, following meetings to consider their reaction to Netanyahu’s speech, has signalled they are to continue with efforts to have a Palestinian state recognised at the UN in September.
PA Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas in a talk to the PA has stated; “we said in the past and we still say that our choice is negotiation, negotiation and nothing but negotiation. But if nothing happens by September we will go (to the UN to ask for recognition by its 192 member states)”
US President Barrack Obama has said that any effort by the PA to declare statehood in the UN would be viewed as an attempt to isolate Israel and would be opposed by the US as such. PM Netanyahu has also warned against such moves.
PM Abbas has stated that the PA’s “aim is not to isolate [Israel] or to delegitimize it”. “It is not an act of terror and not a unilateral act.’
Abbas has accused Netanyahu of concluding solutions to peace talks before they have ever begun. Abbas said Netanyahu’s speech “had many errors and bigger distortions”. “He moved very far from the peace process.”
While some analysts had expected Netanyahu to make concessions in his speech to Congress that might have encouraged the PA to avoid going to the UN in September, no such progress was made.
‘There is nothing new in Netanyahu’s speech except that he is adding obstacles on the road towards a genuine, serious, lasting and comprehensive peace,’ said Nabil Abu Rudeina, spokesman for President Mahmoud Abbas
Netanyahu restated his belief that Israel had the right to all of the West Bank and Gaza Strip and denied any possibility of dismantling Israeli settlements, withdrawing from East Jerusalem or Palestinian refugees to return to their homes in Israel.