Palestinian leadership resolute on Security Council bid

Palestinian leadership resolute on Security Council bid
After the failure of US talks, the Palestinian leadership is determined to go to the UN Security Council in its quest for a Palestinian state.
3 min read
10 November, 2014
Smiles but no tangible results for Erekat [al-Araby]
Palestinian officials said on Sunday that Palestinian-US talks held in Washington had collapsed.

Palestinian officials said they were planning to go to the United Nations' Security Council (UNSC) to demand the recognition of an independent Palestinian state.

A senior PLO official told al-Araby al-Jadeed that the priority of US Middle East policy was now the fight against the Islamic State group (IS, formerly known as ISIS), and Washington had warned the Palestinian leadership against going to the UNSC. 

"The US reiterated its rejection of the Palestinians' decision to resort to the Security Council and requested a delay and more time to develop a plan," said Jamil Shahada, a member of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation's executive committee.

The Palestinian delegation to Washington was headed by Saeb Erekat and Chief of Palestinian Intelligence Majid Faraj.


The Palestinian leadership says the US has not been an even-handed mediator, and has failed to hold Israel to its commitments under the Oslo process or to pressure it to halt the expansion of its illegal settlement activity on occupied Palestinian land.
     The leadership has decided to internationalise the Palestinian question in the absence of an Israeli partner.
- Saeb Erekat

"We expected the US administration to empty the resolution of its substance and render it worthless. It saw no urgency in pushing this process forward and asked for more time so it could propose its plan for a two-state solution to be achieved through negotiations, and without stipulating an end to the building of Israeli settlements in occupied Palestine," Shahada added.

'Stalling for time'

A senior Palestinian official told al-Araby al-Jadeed that the Palestinian delegation knew the US would "stall for time".

"What the US Secretary of State John Kerry told President Mahmoud Abbas during their meeting in Cairo last month, including his ideas to revive the peace process, was merely for media consumption and to buy more time.

"The US proposed that negotiations would resume, starting from where they ended in April 2014, without Israel agreeing to end settlement building," the official confirmed.

Palestinian strategy

The Palestinian offical described the current strategy of the Ramallah leadership as a racheting up legal and diplomatic action in European countries and the Security Council.

Profound disagreements

In a radio interview, Chief Palestinian Negotiator Saeb Erekat labelled talks with the US "a failure".

     [The US] still wants to resume negotiations even though settlement activity is ongoing.
- Saeb Erekat

"Even though the US administration is aware the party responsible for the failure of the negotiations is Israel, it still wants to resume negotiations even though settlement activity is ongoing, including in Jerusalem, and the promised release of the fourth group of older prisoners has not happened," added Erekat.

"The Palestinian leadership decided to internationalise the Palestinian question in the absence of an Israeli partner and the continuation of the policy of assassinations, settlements and attacking holy sites.

"In the next few days, the draft resolution will be proposed to start real consultations and put it on the blue paper in preparation for a vote. We will start working on the final touches on Monday."

This article is an edited translation from our Arabic edition.