Palestinian statehood bid will fail: Israeli PM
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Last Updated: Sunday, September 18, 2011, 19:26
Jerusalem: Predicting that the Palestinian bid to become a permanent UN member is "bound to fail", Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed on Sunday to "present our truth" at the General Assembly.

The Jewish state looks quite isolated with more than 150 member states likely to vote in favour of the Palestinian resolution demanding a full member status in the UN.

Netanyahu told his ministers at the cabinet's weekly meeting that "the Palestinians' wish to become a permanent UN bound to fail because they have to go through the Security Council". He said that that even though the Palestinians can opt to turn to the UN General Assembly, "it does not have the same significance of the Security Council, and that is not the Palestinians' stated goal".

The general feeling in Israel is that its close ally, the US, will veto Palestinian Authority's move seeking recognition at the Security Council, thus turning General Assembly's resolution null and void.

However, political analysts in Israel feel that the overwhelming support enjoyed by the Palestinian resolution will demonstrate Israel's growing isolation in the international community, amid close allies in the Middle East, Turkey, Egypt and Jordan, recently turning hostile to the Jewish state.

Netanyahu decided last week to address the UN General Assembly next Friday, the day the Palestinians will submit their statehood bid.

The stated purpose of his visit to the UN is to make sure that the Palestinian "move to circumvent negotiations does not succeed, present our truth, which is that we are not foreigners and we have rights going back 4,000 years".

The Israeli leader, who has failed to bring the Palestinians back to the negotiating table over their adamant stand not to talk peace till Israel freezes all building activities in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, added that "we are ready to enter negotiations if the Palestinians want to".

"At the end of the day I believe that after the smoke clears, the Palestinians will come to their senses and sit down for negotiations that will bring peace for us and our neighbours," he stressed.

"Peace can only be achieved through direct negotiations with Israel", a statement released by the Prime Minister?s office had last week, accusing the PA of consistently avoiding talks with Israel.

"When the Palestinian Authority will abandon its futile measures, firstly its unilateral decision to approach the UN, it will find Israel as a partner for negotiations and peace,? the statement said.

The PA feels that Netanyahu, under immense pressure from his overwhelming right-wing coalition, is not prepared to make concessions required to put peace talks back on track.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas has stressed that the Palestinians plan to approach the UN Security Council for full recognition, clarifying that they are seeking to de-legitimise the occupation, and not Israel, by taking the UN route for Palestinian statehood.

He asserted that Israel is a legitimate state, but that by continuing to build in the settlements and rejecting the internationally recognised borders of a future Palestinian state, they are engaging in illegitimate activity.


First Published: Sunday, September 18, 2011, 19:26

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