The Palestinian Authority headed by President Mahmoud Abbas stated, it will not be filing for any new bids at any United Nations agency at this time, and will only focus on the efforts to secure full statehood status at the UN.Palestinian Foreign Minister, Riyadh Al Maliki, stated that “President Abbas wants to focus on the filed UN membership bid submitted on September 23rd”, adding that the P.A. will focus on the issue through the Security Council.
He said that the International Community must intervene and stop all Israeli measures taken against the Palestinians for seeking international recognition.
Israeli sources reported that the Palestinian decision comes due to American and Israeli pressures, and the cutting of Israeli and American financial support to the P.A. and the UNESCO, in addition to Israeli threats to isolate Palestinian Authority.
The United States said it will use its veto power at the UN should member countries vote Palestine as a full member.
President Abbas stated, “the Palestinian leadership is determined to achieve full membership status at the United Nations, adding that the recent UNESCO vote for Palestine proves that the Palestinians enjoy the support of most world countries.
Abbas stated that international support to the Palestinians was clear at the UNESCO, adding that the international community supports establishing a Palestinian State, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
As part of the Israeli measures against the P.A. for seeking international recognition, Israel stopped the transfer of Tax money it collects on border terminals on behalf of the P.A.
The money is usually transferred on the first three days of every month so that the P.A can pay salaries and other expenses; this month the money was not transferred.
Tel Aviv collects approximately $100 Million in customs, income taxes and frees collected, on behalf of the Palestinians, on border terminals as the Palestinian Authority has no control over border terminals in the West Bank.
On Thursday, Israel followed the U.S. lead in cutting financial aid to the UNESCO for allowing the vote. Canada also cut its support to the UNESCO.
The office of Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, stated Thursday that Israel froze all financial support to the UNESCO. Israel provides the UNESCO with approximately $2 Million a year.
Netanyahu stated that admitting Palestine as a member at the UNESCO “harmed the chances of resuming peace talks”, and claimed that the move “Does not serve the peace process”.
As for the approaching UN Security Council vote on admitting Palestine as a full member state, Al Maliki stated that “should the Palestinians fail to get the needed majority or should the U.S. implement its threats to use its veto power, the Palestinian Authority will seek other venues”.
The Palestinians have a majority at the UN Security Council, but the Washington and Tel Aviv, are holding extensive talks with International countries to convince them to vote against the Palestinian bid so that Washington would not be forced to use its veto power.
It is worth mentioning that UN secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, recently stated that the Palestinian membership efforts in UN organizations “do not benefit the Palestinians or anybody else”.
He also stated that the cutting US financial support to UN agencies “would affect the lives of million and millions of people who depend on this aid”.