Palestinians Firm on Applying for Statehood at UN in Coming Days

A senior Fatah official refutes rumors that Palestinians gave up UN bid due to fears of American veto.

A senior Fatah official insisted Tuesday that the Palestinians are determined to apply to the United Nations Security Council for full membership as a state this month, refuting rumors that they were giving up on the move due to fears of an American veto.

Mohammed Shtayyeh, a senior Fatah official and a member of the PLO committee preparing the Palestinians' UN request, told a press conference Tuesday that the Palestinians will submit an official request for full recognition to the UN Security Council by September 23.

The United Nations Security Council

"We are going to the UN and to the Security Council and we will ask for full membership for a Palestinian state in the borders of 1967," Shtayyeh said. He also stressed that during the discussions with the Mideast Quartet and the Europeans, no serious proposal regarding renewal of negotiations had been brought before the Palestinians.

According to Shtayyeh, Hamas leader Khaled Meshal expressed his support for the Palestinian UN vote, and noted that the move is part of a PLO strategy to carry out a peaceful struggle toward independence.

Despite Shtayyeh's statement, the Foreign Ministry maintains that the Palestinians' UN Security Council bid is just a tactical ploy to get support in the General Assembly to upgrade their status to a state that isn't a full member.

Full members can only be approved by the Security Council. The United States, which is a permanent member of the Security Council with veto power, has said it will veto the resolution.