Palestinian Authority officials understand that a Security Council petition for statehood would prompt a U.S. veto and are tying to wrest last-minute promises from the Obama administration.
Statements made Tuesday by Mohammad Shtayyeh, a member of Fatah’s Central Committee, regarding the Palestinian Authority’s intention to address the UN Security Council, in addition to its General Assembly, were not surprising.
Just three days ago Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas himself said that the Palestinians will turn to the Security Council, and will not be content to deal with the General Assembly.
Similar statements were made a few weeks ago by Arab League General Secretary Nabil Elaraby. Despite their dramatic character, and the potential they have for creating a diplomatic tussle between the PA and the United States, such declarations can be changed.
Next week, intense negotiations will be undertaken between the European Union, the PA and the American government regarding the specific formula of the request for Palestinian statehood recognition. Only at the end of that week (and perhaps a few days later) will it be clear whether the PA will ask for full recognition from the General Assembly, or whether it will ask for a change of its status in the UN, or whether it will perhaps turn to the Security Council with a request that it be considered a full UN member (a request which will receive a resolute U.S. veto).
Palestinian Authority officials understand that such a Security Council petition would prompt a U.S. veto and would embarrass Washington, and particularly President Barack Obama. For this reason, senior PA officials are trying to wrest last minute promises from the U.S. government, ones which would forestall going “eyeball to eyeball” with Obama.
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