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Palestinians prepare UN upgrade despite US, Israel warnings
Published Thursday 08/11/2012 (updated) 11/11/2012 09:55
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UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) -- The Palestinian Authority circulated a draft resolution to UN member states on Wednesday that calls for upgrading its UN status to that of an "observer state" despite US and Israeli suggestions that the Palestinians could face retaliatory moves.

The draft resolution, which could be put to a vote in the 193-nation UN General Assembly later this month, also reiterates the Palestinian Authority's commitment to the "two-state solution" in which Israel and an independent Palestinian state would co-exist in peace.

If approved, the resolution would "accord to Palestine Observer State status in the United Nations system, without prejudice to the acquired rights, privileges and role of the Palestine Liberation Organization as the representative of the Palestinian people," according to a draft obtained by Reuters.

The Palestinians are currently considered an observer "entity" at the United Nations. Acceptance of the Palestinians as a non-member state, similar to the Vatican's UN status, would implicitly recognize Palestinian statehood.

The upgrade could also grant the Palestinians access to bodies like the International Criminal Court in The Hague, where they could file complaints against Israel.

The status upgrade seems certain to win approval in any vote in the General Assembly, which is composed mostly of post-colonial states historically sympathetic to the Palestinians. Palestinian diplomats also are courting European countries to further burnish their case.

Frustrated that their bid for full UN membership last year failed amid US opposition in the UN Security Council, Palestinians launched their watered-down bid for recognition as an "observer state," the same status given to the Vatican.

Israel and the United States oppose the move by the Palestinians and have called on Palestiian President Mahmoud Abbas to return to peace talks that collapsed in 2010 over Israeli settlement construction in the occupied West Bank.

The draft resolution would have UN member states express "the urgent need for the resumption and acceleration of negotiations within the Middle East peace process."

Palestinian officials said last month they can count on around 115 "yes" votes in the General Assembly, mostly from Arab, African, Latin American and Asian states, and expect around 22 "no" votes, led by the United States, as well as 56 abstentions.

UN diplomats said no date for a vote has been set. Several Western diplomats said US and European officials are lobbying the Palestinians to persuade them to delay the move to allow newly re-elected US President Barack Obama time to try to restart moribund Middle East peace talks.

An Israeli official said earlier this week that if the Palestinians push on with the UN bid, Israel may cancel the Paris Protocol, a key economic accord it maintains with the cash-strapped Palestinian Authority.

The United States has also suggested that funding for the Palestinians - and possibly some funding for the United Nations - could be at risk if the Palestinians seek a UN upgrade.
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1 ) mohamed / somalia
09/11/2012 07:58
why the palestinian is every one against them? and why the USA always support those who behave like hitler or the nazi regime?

2 ) Two Things / To Realize
09/11/2012 15:52
-1- The UNGA should realize that the PA CAN NOT KEEP COMMITMENTS,
"to co-exist in peace with Israel", since the Hamas in Gaza will never stop the bullet, mortar, rocket, and bombing attacks, and
-2- The Palestinian Authority should also realize that the
UNGA CAN NOT CREATE BORDERS THAT PALESTINE CLAIMS, but
"an independent Palestinian state" already exists on Gaza and Areas A/B, which could become Palestine's de-facto borders after the PLOs UN Bid !!

3 ) Tibi / Tubas
10/11/2012 23:17
The PA, "after painting themselves into a corner", are probably correct "There's no going back on decision to go to UN". However, both the PA, and the palestinian people they represent, will have to accept the financial consequences, where for the USA, Canada, and other major donor states, "There's no going FORWARD on providing any further financial support to the PA after their UN Bid !!!

4 ) gabi / australia
11/11/2012 02:43
# 2 - "independent Palestinian state" already exists in Gaza? What a joke. Israel prevents it's fisherman from fishing, prevents it from importing goods or exporting its own gods, polices its borders and shoots anyone who goes even close to the border, won;t allow travel in and out of this "independent" state . . . that's independence is it? I'd call it strangulation.

5 ) ian / australia
11/11/2012 02:45
#1 Good questions mohamed. And the answer is the same for both (IMHO). The USA doesn't support EVERYONE that behaves "like hitler or the nazi regime", JUST Israel. The Mullahs in Iran "behave like Hitler" at times, also Russia (gaoling Pussy Riot etc.) but the US doesn't support THEM. The US supports Israel because the Jewish lobby is so powerful there, and Jews (like Sheldon Adelson) so rich and meddlesome, US politicians think crossing them means their jobs (and with good reason).

6 ) ian / australia
11/11/2012 02:59
(contd.) They support Israel out of fear. Nothing more. Obama included (who obviously loathes the place). That's the "Special Relationship". As for the Palestinians: it's not really "everyone against them", though it seems so...they were just unlucky to be the people living in the region chosen by the Zionists to found the Jewish State! If they had chosen some other place, like Australia...or Somalia, WE would be the ones it looked like "everyone" was against.
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