Sha’ath says we will stick to UN statehood plan 22May11 May 23, 2011

Ma’an News Agency -  22 May 2011

The campaign to win UN endorsement for a Palestinian state will continue despite US opposition, senior Fatah official Nabil Sha’ath said late Saturday.

“Now that [Israeli Prime Minister] Benjamin Netanyahu has proved that he rejects the peace process, there is no doubt that we shall continue with the strategic objective of turning to the United Nations in September,” Sha’ath told AFP, referring to a speech by the leader given in the Oval Office on Friday.

Sha’ath, a former minister, said that the goal of Palestinians is to win recognition by the world body of their promised state “in the 1967 borders,” referring to the lines that existed before that year’s Six Day War, when Israel took control of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

East Jerusalem was also occupied in 1967, then later illegally annexed into Israel.

On Wednesday, an official of the Fatah-dominated Palestine Liberation Organization, Yasser Abed Rabbo, said that Israel would have to choose between negotiating on that basis or facing UN recognition of a state on the same lines.

In a keynote policy speech in Washington on Thursday, US President Barack Obama called for a Palestinian state based on the 1967 lines but said the Palestinian bid for UN recognition would not bring them sovereignty.

At a dramatic Oval Office appearance on Friday, Netanyahu issued a scathing rejection of the 1967 frontiers as “indefensible.”

He demanded that Obama reaffirm then-president George W. Bush’s 2004 promise that the borders of a future Palestinian state would have to recognize the mushrooming of illegal Jewish-only settlements on occupied Palestinian land.

An aide to President Mahmoud Abbas described Netanyahu’s position as “an official rejection of Mr Obama’s initiative, of international legitimacy and of international law.”

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