The Palestinian initiative to obtain full membership in the
United Nations won’t succeed in the face of US opposition, Israeli Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Sept 16
the Palestinians will this week request that the UN Security Council recognize
a Palestinian state and accept it as a full member.
“I am convinced that the activities of the United States,
which is acting in close cooperation with us, and the results of the activities
of other governments with whom we are cooperating, as are of course the
Americans, means this attempt will fail,” Netanyahu told the weekly Cabinet
meeting in Jerusalem Sunday, in remarks posted on his office’s website.
The Obama administration has said it will veto a UN
statehood resolution at the Security Council, calling it counterproductive to
the goal of reaching a deal via negotiations between Israel and the
A US veto in the Security Council wouldn’t bar the
Palestinians from seeking a vote in the larger General Assembly to upgrade the
Palestinian Authority’s observer status from an “entity” to a “non-member
A vote in the General Assembly “has neither the same weight
nor importance,” as the Security Council, Netanyahu said.
The Palestinian UN initiative is meant to “delegitimize
Israel’s policies and occupation,” yet not delegitimize or isolate Israel
itself, Abbas said Sept. 16. He said that after getting statehood recognition,
the Palestinians would continue to work toward a peace deal.
“Of course there is a chance to start direct negotiations,”
Palestinian negotiator Nabil Shaath said today, speaking on Israel Radio. “You
stop your settlements, and we go tomorrow to direct negotiations.”
Negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians broke down
a year ago after Netanyahu declined to extend a freeze on new construction on
West Bank settlements, which Abbas said was a condition for the talks to
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak is in Washington today
to confer with US officials ahead of the UN annual meeting this week. Envoys of
the Middle East Quartet - comprising the US, UN European Union and Russia -
will convene in New York City today, according to Ruti Winterstein, spokeswoman
for the Office of the Quartet Representative in Jerusalem.
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