Palestinian Legislative Body Supports Statehood Declaration
The parliament of the Palestinian Authority added its voice Thursday to calls for Palestinian President Yasser Arafat to go ahead with plans to declare a state on September 13th.
The Palestinian Legislative Council issued a statement in Ramallah, reasserting its support for "the proclamation of an independent Palestinian state on September 13th with Jerusalem as its capital," and rejecting "all Israeli compromise plans for shared sovereignty of the Holy City."
The council statement also called for an Arab summit "to back the Palestinian position on the issue of Jerusalem and the refugees."
The call followed an announcement earlier in the day that the Central Council of the Palestine Liberation Organization would meet ahead of the September 13th deadline to discuss the planned proclamation of a state.
"The Central Council will meet before September 13th to announce the state. If the political leadership puts forward a request to postpone the announcement, then there will be a vote," its chairman Salim Za'noon told reporters after a meeting of members of the PLO executive committee in the northern West Bank town of Nablus.
"We ask the Palestinian leadership not to issue statements that there will be a postponement," he added.
Meeting in July ahead of the Camp David peace summit, the 129-strong council vowed to establish a state on September 13th even without the peace accord Israel and the Palestinians aim to achieve by that date.
The two sides set themselves the September date last year, but they are still far apart on a number of key issues.
Since the collapse of the summit, Palestinian President Yasser Arafat has given contradictory statements about statehood, both insisting it will be declared on September 13th and at other times leaving the date open.
Israel has warned that violent confrontations could erupt if the Palestinians make a unilateral declaration and the United States has threatened to review its relations and cut aid -- RAMALLAH, West Bank (AFP)
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