CMEP Bulletin: Appealing to Europe, Palestinian Reconciliation? and More
The Prime Minister’s Travels
Prime Minister Netanyahu is traveling in Europe in the next few weeks, in anticipation of an attempt by the Palestine Authority to gain recognition for a Palestinian state at the United Nations in September. He is seeking agreement by European leaders to oppose “unilateral moves” for Palestinian statehood in the General Assembly. So far he has gained the support of Germany and the Czech Republic. He plans to visit London and Paris next week.
The UK and France, as well as Germany, seem ready to announce support for negotiations to create a Palestinian state based in the 1967 borders, but may still support recognition based only on a negotiated agreement with Israel, not a vote by the United Nations General Assembly. Nevertheless, many have predicted a “tsunami” of support for a Palestinian state in the General Assembly in September.
UN recognition of Palestine based on 1967 borders could put into question the legal status of more than 500,000 Israelis settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. There are even some 30,000 Israelis living east of the barrier wall in scattered small settlements and outposts. PLO Secretary-General Abed Rabbo said this week that “We will go to the UN, and after winning recognition we will demand that Israeli military and settler presence be considered an act of aggression on the sovereignty of a full member of the UN.”
He added that Palestinians will postpone their plans to seek a declaration of statehood and membership in the UN provided “real and serious” negotiations begin. PM Netanyahu has been invited to address the U.S. Congress in May and President Obama is expected to give a speech on the Middle East in the next few weeks.
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