According to a report by Haaretz, based on conversations with Palestinian and UN officials, divisions between the PA leadership have emerged over plans to seek statehood at the UN in September.
Differences of opinion have arisen between PA President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyed over the tactical advisability of declaring statehood in the UN in September, a move vigorously condemned by Israel and the US.
Opponents of the move in the PA leadership such as Fayyed as well as former Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia and the former Palestinian UN envoy Nasser al-Qudwa have expressed concerns that the plan may alienate US support.
The group has also voiced fears that any recognition of Palestinian statehood would be within provisional borders that may lead to the perpetuation of the status quo on East Jerusalem and Palestinian refugee’s right of return.
Palestinian negotiators have insisted that the move is not designed to isolate Israel or the US in the international community and that they would return to the negotiating table given a halt to Israeli settlements in the West Bank .
Palestinian officials speaking to Haaretz claimed that Abbas is looking to secure a legacy for his contribution to Palestinian statehood. One senior Palestinian government official stated that “Abu Mazen [Abbas] wants to leave his imprint and be the one during whose term Palestinian reconciliation and recognition in the United Nations takes place. There are a great many who oppose this line of his, but so far, his is the dominant and decisive voice’.
Palestinian lead negotiator, Saeb Narakat, who is politically close to Abbas, has stood behind Palestinian plans for September.