Abbas to Present UN With Timetable for Palestinian State in 'Coming Days’

First unified Hamas-Fatah government meeting since 2007 to take place in Gaza at end of Id al-Adha this week.

Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury
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PA President Mahmoud Abbas speaking at the 69th United Nations General Assembly in New York City on Friday.
PA President Mahmoud Abbas speaking at the 69th United Nations General Assembly in New York City on Friday.Credit: AFP
Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury

Senior officials in Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ office say the Palestinian-proposed timetable for the end of Israeli occupation and recognition of a Palestinian state in the 1967 borders will be presented to the UN Security Council in the coming days.

The Palestinians are reportedly checking whether there is currently a majority in favor of the proposal, even if the United States eventually vetoes it. “This proposal will be submitted because we want to make clear to the international community that the status quo cannot continue infinitely, nor can we be dependent on the good graces of the government of Israel, and that is what Abu Mazen [Abbas] made clear in his [UN] speech,” the officials said.

Palestinian presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh added that a U. S. veto of the proposal would not serve either the Americans or “the war on terror that the United States is leading – because in such a situation the administration will stand against justice and international law, and most countries in the world that have already recognized a Palestinian state in the 1967 borders. The United States will place itself in opposition to the nations of the world, and especially the Arab countries that are cooperating with it in the war on terror.”

According to Abu Rudeinah, the Palestinian position is supported by all of the Arab countries and has the understanding of most countries. With regard to the European position, Abu Rudeinah said that all the European countries who voted for Palestine two years ago would support it this year as well, plus other countries. He noted that the resolution would be proposed after final consultations with Arab countries and member states, and would be presented to them all, including the United States.

At the same time, the Palestinians will be holding a full cabinet meeting in Gaza at the end of Id al-Adha, which falls at the end of this week. This will be the first meeting of the unified government representing both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip since 2007.

According to Deputy Prime Minister Ziad Abu Amr, following the understandings reached in Cairo last week, the government’s first act will be to pay salaries to Hamas government officials. This will be done in the form of advance payments before the holiday, which have been made possible after a number of Arab countries agreed to contribute money to pay the salaries.

As for the meeting planned for Gaza, Abu Amr said the ministers are to receive permission to enter the Gaza Strip. He did not clarify whether he meant permission from Israel allowing them to leave the West Bank and enter the Strip, or whether they would have to reach Cairo, and from there proceed to Rafah and enter the Gaza from the Egyptian side.

Both Hamas and Fatah understand that the main effort initially must focus on rehabilitating the Gaza Strip and bringing in construction materials that will allow expedited work to begin. They expressed hope that the meeting of the donor countries will raise the funds needed for rehabilitation, which from the Palestinian perspective are estimated at between $4 billion to $6 billion.

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