Palestinians set on UN statehood bid in September
West Bank: Palestinians will seek recognition as a UN member-state in
September given the deadlock in US-brokered peacemaking with Israel, a
senior Palestinian official said on Saturday.
Nabil Shaath urged President Barack Obama, who on Thursday criticised
the planned move at the UN general assembly, to join countries that have
already endorsed a Palestinian state taking in the Israeli-occupied West
Bank and East Jerusalem.
Another Palestinian official, Nabil Abu Rdainah, said the drive to
win statehood status unilaterally could be forestalled should Israel
accept the demand to extend a freeze on its settlement on occupied land
so that negotiations can resume.
But such rapprochement looked highly unlikely after Israeli Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, hosted in Washington on Friday, sparred
with Obama over a new U.S. call for the future Palestinian state to have
a border approximating to the West Bank’s boundary before Israel
captured it in the 1967 war.
“Of course we will go to the United Nations,” Shaath, an aide to
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, told Reuters. “Especially after
Netanyahu used the old pretext that he needs ‘defensible borders’ to
keep stealing our land, control the Jordan Valley and create demographic
facts on the ground.”