The Palestinian leadership is sharply divided over the unilateral move to seek recognition from the United Nations General Assembly in September. While Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is determined to go through with the move, a group of senior Palestinians have said in closed conversations that they oppose it because they believe seeking recognition from the United Nations could do more harm than good to their cause.
Two senior European diplomats who have been holding talks with the Palestinians over the past few weeks, as well as three Israeli officials — some of whom are not in governmental roles and some of whom are in senior government positions — told Haaretz that the Palestinians are debating the matter.
Among those opposed to the United Nations declaration are senior officials, including PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, former Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia and the former Palestinian UN envoy Nasser al-Qudwa. The latter’s opposition is particularly significant because he is considered the most experienced Palestinian official when it comes to dealing with the United Nations. He is also considered likely to run for PA president after Abbas retires.