Deputy FM: At Least 60 UN States Back Unilateral Palestinian Statehood

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon says that Israel will have to convince General Assembly members to change stance, but that ultimately, it is up to Security Council to decide on recognizing Palestinian state.

Israel will need to convince about 60 to 70 member states at the United Nations to oppose a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state in September, according to comment made by Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon.

In an interview with Israel Radio, Ayalon declared that there is an automatic majority against Israel at the UN General Assembly, which Israel cannot change. But, he added,  UN Security Council and not the General Assembly is the ultimately deciding body on the matter.

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon
Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon.Tess Scheflan

According to Ayalon, the Fatah-Hamas reconciliation has limited the range of diplomatic possibilities for Israel, and as such Israel will have to wait and see what the Palestinians will do.

Opposition leader Tzipi Livni called upon the government coalition not to sit back, for peace with the Palestinians is in Israel's interest. According to Livni, the Netanyahu government was not willing to pay a small price in return for negotiations and now the price demanded is far greater.

Livni said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is sticking to his chair in the hope that the rest of the world will be convinced that the Palestinians are to blame.

Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas met in Cairo on May 4 to sign a reconciliation agreement that ended four years of bitter strife. The Palestinians say that if a peace treaty with Israel isn't reached by September their first choice is to go to the UN Security Council with such strong support and arguments that it would recommend admission of Palestine as a new member of the United Nations.