Palestinians to seek UN state recognition

The West Bank Palestinian leadership formally decided to press ahead with efforts in September to win United Nations recognition of a state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem.

But the move could be a blow to efforts to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

The leadership, made up of the Palestine Liberation Organisation's decision-making body and officials of the Palestinian Authority, the self-rule government in the West Bank, said the goal was to bring a state of Palestine into the family of nations of the world.

It said it approved the approach in principle without adding operative steps about how to follow on from recognition.

The idea of asking the UN General Assembly to recognise a Palestinian state inside the ceasefire lines that held until the 1967 Six Day War is a reflection of Palestinian frustration with stalemated peace talks with Israel.

In recent weeks, however, Palestinian leaders have been giving signs of backing away from the initiative and towards softening their position over the renewal of peace negotiations, as both the UN initiative and their drive to set up a unity government with the rival Hamas in Gaza have foundered.

Some Palestinians believe that contrary to the notion that UN recognition would destroy peace talks, such world status would force Israel to make concessions when negotiations resumed.

Recognition of a Palestinian state by the UN General Assembly would carry considerable diplomatic weight but no legal clout. Only the UN Security Council can add a nation to the world body and the US government has repeatedly expressed its opposition to the move, while stopping short of saying it would veto such a resolution.

Israel has condemned the Palestinian UN initiative, saying that it torpedoes efforts to reach a negotiated solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

US president Barack Obama has offered a formula under which a Palestinian state would be set up with borders based on the pre-1967 war ceasefire lines that delineate the West Bank, with agreed-upon swaps of territory between the two sides. Previous Israeli governments have agreed to the concept, but that did not result in a peace accord.

The current Israeli leadership, under prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has reacted coolly to the Obama proposal. Mr Netanyahu has rejected an Israeli withdrawal from all of the West Bank and wants to retain Israeli control of east Jerusalem, claimed by the Palestinians as their capital. Israel pulled out of Gaza unilaterally in 2005.

Palestinians have been insisting that peace negotiations can be resumed only if Israel stops all construction in its West Bank settlements and Jewish neighbourhoods in east Jerusalem, also considered settlements by the Palestinians and much of the world.

That would go well beyond a 10-month moratorium on new housing starts in the West Bank that Mr Netanyahu imposed as an incentive to restart the talks. The negotiations resumed nine months later, last September, but were halted when the moratorium ended and was not renewed.

Now Israel rejects preconditions for peace talks and says that all issues, including the future of the settlements, should be on the negotiating table.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Rocky road: Dwayne Johnson and Carla Gugino play an estranged husband and wife in 'San Andreas'
filmReview: In the face of all-round devastation, even Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson appears a little puny
Arts and Entertainment
Bright lights, big city: Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles by dusk
books
News
i100
Sport
Harry Kane makes Paul Scholes' Premier League team of the season
footballPaul Scholes on the best players, managers and goals of the season - and the biggest disappointments
News
i100
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Guru Careers: Marketing Manager / Marketing Communications Manager

    £35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...

    Guru Careers: Membership Administrator

    £23K: Guru Careers: We're seeking an experienced Membership Administrator, to ...

    Guru Careers: Dining Room Head Chef

    £32K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Dining Room Head Chef to work for one of ...

    Guru Careers: Pastry Sous Chef / Experienced Pastry Chef

    £27K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pastry Sous Chef / Experienced Pastry Che...

    Day In a Page

    Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

    The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

    How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
    Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

    Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

    'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
    Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

    Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

    How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
    Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

    Art attack

    Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
    Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

    Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

    Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
    Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

    'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

    Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
    10 best wedding gift ideas

    It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

    Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
    Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

    Paul Scholes column

    With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
    Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

    Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

    Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
    Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

    Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

    The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
    Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

    Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

    For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
    Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

    Fifa corruption arrests

    All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
    Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

    The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

    In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
    How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

    How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

    Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
    Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

    How Stephen Mangan got his range

    Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor