Report: Amman Angered by Palestinians' UN Bid

Jordan deemed PA statehood move hasty and doomed, due to lack of int'l support and plan to restart talks with Israel; meanwhile, PA reconsidering new UN initiative.

Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury
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Mahmoud Abbas and King Abdullah of Jordan, July 24, 2014.
Mahmoud Abbas and King Abdullah of Jordan, July 24, 2014. Credit: Reuters
Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury

Jordanian sources reported Monday morning that their government is not enthusiastic, to put it mildly, about the fact the Palestinians turned to the UN Security Council in a bid for statehood last week.

A government source told the Al-Arab Al-Youm newspaper that the Palestinian Authority made a too-hasty move, destined to fail, in submitting its proposal to the UN Security Council without reaching agreements – specifically, with the United States and Great Britain, and the international community – on a clear-cut path for returning to the negotiating table with Israel.

According to the source, Jordan prefers renewal of those talks rather than embarking on steps that will only complicate the current diplomatic situation, and will lead to counterreactions from Israel that will deepen the occupation in the occupied territories.

Jordanian King Abdullah tried, during his December visit to the White House, to promote the resumption of negotiations as per a plan supported by the Americans. But the Palestinians surprised him by turning to the Security Council, according to this government source.

Jordan's criticism of the PA initiative is not surprising, since in recent months there have been many disagreements between Amman and the PA regarding how to proceed in the international arena.

Moreover, Palestinians frequently strive to receive pan-Arab support so as to wield pressure on Jordan, claiming the Jordanians are also under heavy U.S. pressure.

A senior Palestinian official confirmed in a conversation with Haaretz that on the eve of the UN Security Council vote last week, the Jordanians sought to delay the vote and carry on with discussions on the bid – mainly with the Americans. But PA President Mahmoud Abbas insisted on continuing with his plan, and wanted the vote to take place even at the risk of a U.S. veto (which was not necessary in the end).

The PA argued that since it first placed its statehood proposal on the table of the Security Council, the Americans have not presented a single blueprint that will guarantee even the minimal Palestinian demands for a resumption of negotiations.

Meanwhile, Abbas announced Sunday that the PA is examining, along with the Jordanians and the Arab countries in general, the possibility of resubmitting a resolution on Palestinian statehood to the Security Council again.

This decision comes in the wake of the change after the New Year in the composition of that body's nonpermanent members – particularly the entry of Malaysia instead of Australia, and of Angola instead of Rwanda, which could help the Palestinians achieve the necessary majority of nine in a new vote.

According to Abbas, the PA is pondering its next moves and will continue sending out feelers, with the objective of bringing about another vote. He said the PA will not surrender to pressure, reiterating that by turning to UN, the Palestinians are demanding the support and intervention of UN members all over the world to ending the occupation.

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