Ramallah, 13 Sept 2011: A Palestinian Authority (P.A.) spokesperson confirmed today that Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas will hand in the application for official recognition of Palestine at the United Nations next week.
The P.A. will approach the U.N. Security Council in the matter despite the looming threat of a U.S. veto. The step was announced by Mohammed Shtayyeh, member of the Fatah’s central committee, in Ramallah today. Mr. Shtayyeh said that the PA will seek full independence based on the borders of 1967.
Following the Palestinian interpretation, that would not only include the Gaza Strip and the West Bank but also West Jerusalem, territories which have been under Israeli control since 1967, when during the Six Days War from 5 to 10 June they were wrestled from Jordan and Egypt respectively.
Of the about one million Arab inhabitants, 300,000 fled to Jordan, only to be kicked out a few years later for enticing unrest. Roughly 600,000 Palestinians stayed and became second-class citizens because Israel denied full citizen’s rights to the inhabitants of Gaza and the West Bank (excluding West Jerusalem).
The first step to recognition seems to be within reach for the P.A., because it has the support of more than the 120 members of the General Assembly, which is necessary to get a two-thirds majority. Getting the bid through the Security Council on the other hand seems to be highly unlikely as the U.S. have already announced their veto, should the Palestinian Authority ask for recognition of independence. Without the approval of the S.C. the bid would be effectively blocked.
Despite reservations from Palestinians in Gaza and abroad, the Hamas seems to go along with Fatah here. According to Mr. Shtayyeh, Khaled Mashal, head of Hamas, supports the pledge for recognition.
It is unclear what the P.A. wants to gain by the move, since the bid has little or no chance to pass.