The Palestinians will declare an independent state on December 31, the chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was quoted Saturday by a Jordanian newspaper as saying.
"The announcement of independence and of the realization of Palestinian sovereignty over Palestinian territories occupied by Israel in 1967 will coincide with the anniversary" of the 1965 outbreak of the armed resistance, Salim al-Zaanun told the Al-Dustour newspaper.
It was on December 31, 1965 that Yasser Arafat's Fateh, the largest faction within the PLO, created its military wing.
Zaanun said the PLO central council will meet in four weeks' time either in the West Bank or the Gaza Strip to discuss the proclamation of a Palestinian state, and that it will remain formally in session until December 31.
On Tuesday, Palestinian information minister Yasser Abed Rabbo said that it would be premature to declare a state until such time as Palestinians have sovereignty over the currently occupied territories.
Arafat was to have announced the creation of an independent Palestinian state in May 1999, but held off under international pressure.
In July of this year, the PLO Central Council vowed to declare the creation of independent Palestine on September 13, the expiration date for an interim peace accord signed in Egypt last year.
That date was also set aside under international pressure, with a subsequent November 15 deadline also gone by the way -- AMMAN (AFP)
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