Abbas sees big problems for Palestinians following statehood bid


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas arrived in New York saying he expects his people will be in a "very difficult situation" following his United Nations statehood bid.

Abbas arrived Monday morning hours after he reportedly refused a compromise proposal offered by the United States, the European Union and the rest of the Middle East Quartet partners that had Israel agreeing to direct negotiations based on the 1967 borders with land swaps and the Palestinians recognizing Israel as a Jewish state.

Abbas said he will go to the U.N. Security Council with a request for full membership as the State of Palestine on Friday after he addresses the General Assembly, which is scheduled to begin its annual meeting Wednesday.

“The Palestinian people and their leadership will have very difficult times after the Palestinians approach to the United Nations through the Security Council to seek full membership for the Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with east Jerusalem as its capital,” Abbas told reporters.

Arab-Israeli lawmaker Ahmed Tibi traveled Sunday to New York, where he reportedly will support the Palestinian delegation at the United Nations in its statehood bid. Tibi’s spokesman said he is not an official member of the Palestinian delegation, but will actively express his support for the statehood bid during his visit. 

Meanwhile, Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon told the Palestinian Donors Conference held Sunday at the United Nations that Israel is interested in continuing to assist Palestinian economic development, but its position could be affected if the Palestinians unilaterally declare a state.

"Future assistance and cooperation could be severely and irreparably compromised if the Palestinian leadership continues on its path of essentially acting in contravention of all signed agreements which also regulate existing economic relations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority," Ayalon told the conference.

He also said that "If the Palestinian Authority is staking a path, not just against its signed commitments but against the norms and standards of international peacemaking, then it will prove very hard for the State of Israel to continue a process abandoned by its partners and co-signatories."

PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad represented the Palestinians at the conference, which was hosted by the U.N. undersecretary general for political affairs, B. Lynn Pascoe, and chaired by Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Ghar Store.


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