Palestine ready to push forward more UN recognition bids
An aide to acting Palestinian Authority Chief Mahmoud Abbas says Palestinians are prepared to seek more UN recognition by working to gain membership of additional international agencies and treaties.
Mohammed Ishtayeh made the announcement on Monday after Abbas signed a request to join 15 UN agencies and international treaties on April 1.
The Palestinians agreed to stop seeking membership of international bodies and pursuing legal action against Israel during the nine months of talks, launched in July 2013 between the Palestinian Authority and Tel Aviv. Israel, in return, agreed to free 104 Palestinian inmates in four groups.
The Israeli-PA talks reached a new deadlock when Tel Aviv refused to free the final batch of the Palestinian prisoners in late March. The Palestinians, in response, decided to go ahead with their applications to adhere to the international treaties and join the agencies.
The Israeli regime has reportedly asked Abbas to withdraw the letters of accession. However, Ishtayeh said the requests are irreversible.
He further noted that the Palestinians “are keeping the door open for any serious talks” until April 29 deadline, but that gaps on almost all issues have only grown and that Israel is not negotiating in good faith.
Ishtayeh said the Palestinians would not agree to an extension of the US-brokered talks unless Israel first agrees to free the final group of prisoners. In recent weeks, negotiations have been concentrated on reaching agreement on extending the talks into 2015.
The 63 agencies, treaties and conventions have been divided into four groups, Ishtayeh said.
“The second tranche of UN organizations is ready for signing.”
The release of Palestinian prisoners is not the only thorny issue that has been hindering the negotiations between the two sides.
Since the resumption of the direct talks last July, Palestinians have also objected to Israel’s illegal settlement expansion in the occupied Palestinian territories.
The Israeli settlements are considered illegal under international law. However, Netanyahu says the settlement construction is part of Tel Aviv’s policy and will not stop.
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