Abbas vows UN membership

2011-09-17 14:18

Ramallah, Palestinian Territories - President Mahmud Abbas has promised Palestinians he will seek UN membership before the Security Council next week, amid mounting opposition from Israel and the United States.

With Washington calling the move "counterproductive," Abbas told Palestinians in a televised address on Friday: "It is our legitimate right to demand the full membership of the state of Palestine in the UN."

Europe on Saturday joined the diplomatic tussle, calling for a "constructive solution" on Palestinian statehood and a resumption of negotiations with Israel.

"We continue to believe that a constructive solution that can gather as much support as possible and allows for the resumption of negotiations is the best and only way to deliver the peace and two state solution the Palestinian people want," said Jaja Cocijanic, spokesperson for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.

Yossi Peled, a Likud party minister without portfolio in the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told public radio on Saturday Israel could not prevent the Palestinian UN recourse.

"Unfortunately, Israel does not have the means to prevent the Palestinians from demanding adhesion of their state to the UN, and it is impossible to stop them," he said.

"But the initiative will no doubt not get through the Security Council, and will leave us room to negotiate," he said, adding that only direct talks will result in the solution of two states for two peoples.

Washington has already threatened to veto the Palestinian bid in the Security Council.

Abbas made his pledge after Israel boosted its military presence in the West Bank ahead of expected Palestinian demonstrations as the UN statehood bid looms on September 23.

Israel's daily Yediot Aharonot said three battalions of reservists - some 1 500 personnel - had been mobilised and units already in the occupied territory had been reinforced.

Explaining US opposition to the planned UN bid, State Department deputy spokesperson Mark Toner said: "We believe that any gesture, any movement in New York to that end would be counterproductive to what the real focus should be on, which is direct negotiations between the parties.

"And that remains our goal and our priority."

Direct Palestinian peace talks with Israel foundered nearly a year ago over a dispute over Israel's continued construction of Jewish settlements on occupied Palestinian land.

Abbas said he would seek UN membership "to put an end to a historical injustice by attaining liberty and independence, like the other peoples of the earth, in a Palestinian state on the borders of June 4, 1967."

He was referring to the lines that existed before the 1967 Six Day War, including Gaza, the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

Israel says they are indefensible and the borders of a future Palestinian state must be defined in bilateral negotiations.

Washington says the basis for an agreement should be the 1967 borders but with mutually agreed amendments.

Russia said this week it would support the Palestinian bid at the UN while some 127 countries have recognised Palestine as an independent state.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said two American envoys would return to the Middle East on Tuesday for talks with Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he will go to the UN to explain Israel's opposition to the Palestinian move.
A statement from his office said: "Peace is not achieved by a unilateral approach to the UN, and not by associating with the Hamas terror organisation."

"Peace will only be attained by direct negotiation with Israel."

Hamas, the Islamist group ruling the Gaza Strip, hit out at Abbas's strategy, to which it is not a party, saying it could weaken the campaign to allow Palestinian refugees back to their former homes and delegitimise armed opposition to Israeli occupation.

It "carries numerous risks and could violate national rights such as the right of return, the right of resistance and self-determination," spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri said.

Read more on:    mahmoud abbas  |  hillary clinton  |  benjamin netanyahu  |  israel  |  palestine
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
9 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Wednesday Delft - 20:37 PM
    Road name: R300 Southbound
    ROADWORKS - left lane closed at Hindle Road
  • Wednesday Sir Lowry's Pass - 17:57 PM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Curve 9360

The BlackBerry Curve 9360 smartphone comes preloaded with Blackberry OS7...

From R1595.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may find yourself fascinated by something which could draw you in to obsessively exploring this subject in depth....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.