Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Friday that the Palestinians plan to approach the United Nations Security Council for full recognition, clarifying that they are seeking to delegitimize the occupation, not Israel, by taking the UN route for Palestinian statehood.
He stressed that Israel is a legitimate state, but that by continuing to build in the settlements and rejecting the internationally recognized borders of a future Palestinian state, the Israelis are engaging in illegitimate activity.
Abbas gave his address in Ramallah a week before the United Nations is set to vote on Palestinian statehood, which is due to take place in the UN General Assembly on September 23.
“What I will take to the UN will be the suffering and concerns of our people that have been taking place over 63 years living under the occupation,” Abbas said, adding that the Palestinians, like every nation, deserve independence, adding that the Palestinians want a state based on 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Abbas said that the PLO plans to continue to be the sole representative of the Palestinian people, not only at the diplomatic level but also through the implementation of the necessary steps needed to bring about a Palestinian state.
Later in his speech, however, the Palestinian president touched upon the Cairo-brokered unity deal between the moderate West Bank – based Fatah and the more militant Gaza-based Hamas, saying that “there is nothing better than national unity between the West Bank and Gaza, and we will do everything we can to maintain this unity.”
Abbas said that collaboration between the West Bank and Gaza is a national duty, and they will continue to take steps to maintain this, “even if we differ on some issues.”
For more, see Haaretz.com