The Palestinian Authority is planning to file an application with the UN General Assembly for accepting Palestine as a non-member state next month, PA Foreign Minister Riad Malki announced Saturday.
The PA is hoping that a vote in favour of its application in the General Assembly, where the Palestinians enjoy the backing of more than 130 countries, will pave the way for taking the case back to the UN Security Council to seek full recognition of a Palestinian state.
A similar statehood application by PA President Mahmoud Abbas at the Security Council last September failed after the Palestinians failed to secure the backing of enough members. Malki said that Abbas, who is scheduled to address the annual meeting of the General Assembly on 27 September, will file the new application.
An Israeli government official speaking to the Jerusalem Post slammed the intended move, saying “the Palestinians will be doing no one a favour, least of all themselves, if they choose to go to the UN. And if they do so, they will be violating their most fundamental commitment in the peace process.”
The official added, “Refusing to negotiate and unilaterally trying to change the status is a direct and deliberate violation of the whole peace process up until now,” the official said. “Israel reserves the right to respond if it indeed occurs.”
Meanwhile, a two-day meeting of Non-Aligned Movement ministers in the West Bank, at which the bloc was poised to sign a declaration in support of a fresh Palestinian bid for upgrading its UN membership, was cancelled yesterday after Israel denied five officials entry.
A senior Israeli official said the ban targeted five countries – Malaysia, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Cuba and Algeria – from travelling to Ramallah, as those countries have no diplomatic relations with Israel. “A decision has been taken to bar the diplomatic representatives of several countries which do not recognise Israel from crossing the Israeli borders,” an Israel official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity. Diplomats from Egypt, India, Colombia, South Africa, Senegal, Zambia and Zimbabwe were permitted entry.