Palestinians plan to renew their bid to upgrade Palestine’s status at the United Nations in order to be recognized as an independent state.
Palestine, which currently holds “observer” status at the UN, will ask to be upgraded to “non-member state” at the General Assembly meeting on September 27, caretaker Palestinian Authority (PA) Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki announced on Saturday.
He also said the Palestinians will then pursue full UN membership in the future, which requires approval by the Security Council.
For several years, the Palestinians have been campaigning to achieve UN recognition as a sovereign state based on the pre-1967 borders.
Press TV has conducted an interview with Dr. Saeb Shaath, a Middle East expert, from Belfast, to further discuss the issue. The following is a rough transcription of the interview.
Palestine, which currently holds “observer” status at the UN, will ask to be upgraded to “non-member state” at the General Assembly meeting on September 27, caretaker Palestinian Authority (PA) Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki announced on Saturday. He also said the Palestinians will then pursue full UN membership in the future, which requires approval by the Security Council. For several years, the Palestinians have been campaigning to achieve UN recognition as a sovereign state based on the pre-1967 borders.
Press TV: Israel opposes unity among Palestinian factions because it may be a prerequisite for taking the case to the UN’s General Assembly and, of course, the case of statehood. How united are the Palestinians now for taking the case to the UN?
Shaath: They are far from united, the Palestinians, because actually on the ground we have two different factions, two different agendas.
Also, the guys in Ramallah are interested in coordinating with the Israeli occupation to keep their authority in Ramallah running. These guys will remember just after the Second Intifada, they disarmed Fatah the largest movement in the PLO which used to run the Palestinian Authority.
We have no resistance, no armed Palestinian movement in the West Bank. We have in Gaza most of the resistant movement entrenched in Gaza. Their agenda is totally different than the PA’s in the West Bank. I cannot see any significant signs of unity in the near future.
The authority in Ramallah have spoken that they want to sort matters with the occupation…only through negotiations. The last 18 years have proved to be a great failure for that strategy. Also, their agreements came to nothing on the ground; they still insist on negotiations? Meanwhile in the West Bank, over 60 percent of the best West Bank’s land went to settlements expansion under this Palestinian Authority. They still want to negotiate.
The Israelis are refusing to freeze settlements, expansions, even for a day. I don’t know what they -in the Palestinian authority, want to talk about and I don’t know, even going to the United Nations, what are they going to achieve.
The Palestinian Authority killed the role of its mother, the PLO -the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian People, since the PLO is recognized and holds an observer status at the United Nations General Assembly. By the Palestinian Authority saying and seeking to upgrade that to a non-member state for themselves, it means it will kill the PLO status in the United Nations.
The PLO, if you remember, doesn’t represent just the Palestinians in the West Bank and in Gaza, it represents them all around the world — the Palestinian refugee camps in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan, all around the world. They will deny most of the Palestinian people outside the West Bank and Gaza Strip any legal representation by taking that role from the PLO.
I think this is a failed move and it’s aimed for the Palestinian Authority, ‘the Abbas authority’ in Ramallah, to show themselves that they are doing something for the cause of Palestine. While they are happy for hosting in Ramallah the Non- aligned movement.
The Non- aligned movement by holding their meeting in Ramallah they think they got some power boost, and actually all what are they doing is using the Palestinian’s cause, since these guys in the non-aligned movement noticed the shift of power in the international arena, and the more powerful role Russia is playing on the international arena.
They thought by riving the organisation using the Palestine cause, that they can in the future become strong since Russia supported them during the Cold War, and they want to have a role to play. So, they want to use Palestine in here and I don’t think that will take us anywhere.
Press TV: Interestingly, Washington has made it clear that it will not allow Palestinians statehood through a UN vote. How is this case going to be perceived at the United Nations itself with regards to the fact that the United States has made claims that it has made efforts to solve this issue?
Shaath: The United States of America is not interested in solving any of these issues. Their interest is focused always on managing the conflict in the Middle East, keep it flaring as we see what evil role they are playing in Syria, trying to destroy a country and fragment it into six conflicting entities.
The Palestinian Authority in Ramallah is actually taking a line which supports the evil actors working to destroy Syria.
Last year, The United States made sure that the Palestinian’s campaign to gain recognition in the United Nations Security Council has failed. They and Israel made sure of that.
Even Maliki, the Palestinian foreign affairs minister, declaring they have 180 votes in favor of that already. The United States of America can buy and sell in the United Nations. This United Nations as an organization is their tool to control, sometimes especially in the General Assembly by buying and selling members votes in the United Nations.
The United Nations never ever in the last 60 years showed the Palestinians any meaningful resolution…even when there’s some passed by the General Assembly; still they are not binding…