Abbas Will Go to U.N. General Assembly for Statehood Bid, Diplomats Say

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas had informed the EU of his decision not to turn to the UN Security Council on September 20 to request that Palestine be accepted as a full member of the organization, senior diplomats told Haaretz.

Abbas, who realizes that the United States will exercise its veto power at the Security Council, has instead decided to turn to the UN General Assembly, whose resolutions are less binding, in order to seek the support of the European Union member states in the vote.

Israel does not support this move, and in recent weeks the Foreign Ministry, Military Intelligence, the Shin Bet security service and the Mossad have distributed a number of documents stating that a return to negotiations would tone down tensions and anger against Israel.

The documents, issued ahead of the expected UN vote on a Palestinian state, also state that while changes in the Arab world could be a threat to Israel, they also represent opportunities for Israel to improve its diplomatic standing.

“All the documents recommend progress vis-a-vis the Palestinians,” a source close to Defense Minister Ehud Barak said.

In recent meetings of the eight senior cabinet ministers, Barak told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the other ministers that the focus should be on Israel’s interests and not on symbolic issues like national honor. If Israel does not try to seriously move the peace process ahead, it will be seen as obstructionist by its friends in the West, Barak told the ministers.

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Abbas Will Go to U.N. General Assembly for Statehood Bid, Diplomats Say

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