- The Media Line - https://themedialine.org -

‘Abbas Hardens Position Regarding September U.N. Gambit

Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud ‘Abbas told the PLO Executive Committee on Wednesday that he plans to seek recognition of the state of Palestine in the U.N. General Assembly in September even if Israel and the Palestinians agree to resume negotiations before then. ‘Abbas’ remarks indicate a hardening of his position, which until now has been that the U.N. gambit would be halted if Israel agreed to his conditions for returning to the negotiating table. It remains uncertain exactly what the Palestinians will be able to accomplish at Turtle Bay since officials there ruled that the General Assembly cannot deal with issues of membership unless the Security Council first passes an enabling resolution, which the U.S. has promised to veto. Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has opined publicly that declaring statehood at the U.N. without Israeli cooperation would result in an empty “symbolic declaration.” Palestinian officials in Ramallah have expressed conflicting opinions to The Media Line, many believing that the U.N. option will fizzle. Others believe a statehood declaration that is not followed up by movement on the ground will be a source of tension that could manifest in violent demonstrations. Some also expressed concern at what they are calling ‘Abbas’ confrontational approach toward the United States which, they fear, could jeopardize vital foreign aid from Washington. ‘Abbas also called for mass demonstrations — a la “Arab Spring” — against Israel. He said, “I insist on popular resistance and I insist that it be unarmed popular resistance so that nobody misunderstands us. We are now inspired by the protests of the Arab Spring, all of which cry out ‘peaceful’, ‘peaceful.’”