TEL AVIV — The Palestinian leadership is working with Western governments on a movement for European countries to unilaterally recognize Palestine as an independent state, a member of the PLO executive council told Breitbart Jerusalem.
He said that the Palestinians are working in conjunction with members of the European Union to advance a motion to recognize Palestinian statehood following Sunday’s Middle East summit in Paris. He added that some members of the Obama administration support the effort, although it was not clear that the Obama administration itself would make any public declaration to that effect.
“Its significance lies not only in the number of states that will recognize Palestine, but also in the fact that Palestine will become the world’s only state that is under occupation, which will pose a real challenge for the community of nations,” he claimed.
The PLO council member said the Palestinian Authority hopes to take the “Palestine” recognition campaign to the UN Security Council after the Paris summit, but he conceded that the White House does not currently back any move at the UN on the matter.
“We and our European partners, as well as some officials in the US State Department, hope that the summit creates some kind of leverage that will persuade the White House to throw its weight behind it,” he said. “Our stated goal is that the June 1967 borders will be reiterated as the future borders of the Palestinian State, including East Jerusalem. We also seek to set a deadline for the establishment of a Palestinian state which, if missed, the UN will impose sanctions on Israel just like the ones imposed on South Africa in the 1980s and 1990s and on Iran more recently. We have to establish a position whereby Israel is a danger to world peace no less that the Islamic State and other terrorist organizations.”
He continued: “We want the [United Nations] Security Council to recognize Palestine as an occupied state, and lay out parameters for a negotiation that will led to its establishment,” he said. “Israel will not cooperate of course, but for the first time since 1967 the world will be unanimous about the responsibility of Israel in foiling the prospect of peace as per the resolutions of the UN. When this happens, we will be at a much stronger position vis-à-vis the new Administration and will be able to foil the initiative to move the American embassy to Jerusalem.”
“These resolutions will make (President-elect Donald) Trump decide whether her wants to confront the international community, the Vatican and the EU,” he added.
A U.S. abstention last month allowed the passage of a United Nations Security Council Resolution calling the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem “occupied Palestinian territories,” and demanding a halt to Israeli construction in those areas.
Some of the holiest sites in Judaism are located in eastern Jerusalem and the West Bank, including the Western Wall and Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City; the Cave of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs in Hebron, which was home to the oldest continuous Jewish community in the world until the Jews of Hebron were massacred and expelled; the Tomb of Rachel in Bethlehem; and Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus – biblical Shechem.
A total of 134 countries already recognized the state of Palestine, but the U.S. and most European countries have refused to do so until a final-status agreement is forged between Israel and the PA.