Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is frustrated by Israeli and American pressure to thwart the Palestinians' U.N. statehood bid, senior Palestinian officials told Israel Hayom.
Speaking to Israel Hayom after returning from the Palestinian Ambassadors Conference in Istanbul, the officials said that Abbas would be willing to freeze the unilateral move, planned for September, if negotiations with Israel were to resume. However Israel and the U.S. prefer to persuade Arab governments to pressure the Palestinians to give up their U.N. bid.
During the ambassadors' conference, senior Palestinian representative Saeb Erekat expressed anger at Israel and the U.S. for doing everything in their power to thwart the Palestinian bid for statehood at the General Assembly. "If Washington continues to work against the Palestinian demand for international recognition in the General Assembly, Mahmoud Abbas should just throw the keys back at the Americans," Erekat said. "If the Israeli-American pressure succeeds, we will have no choice but to dismantle the Palestinian Authority," he said. Erekat pointed out that the relevance of the Oslo Accords is now in question. Erekat said he believes that if the Palestinian issue is not resolved, and the status quo maintained, the Palestinian cause will be lost forever.
"Unilateral moves will not lead to peace. The unilateral Palestinian bid for statehood is causing us to take a detour from the real path to peace," Ron Prosor, Israel's ambassador to the U.N., said on Tuesday. According to Prosor, the Palestinians are trying to bypass negotiations with Israel, a move that will ultimately lead to frustration and violence.
Prosor called upon the international community to make it clear to the Palestinian leadership that, "There are no shortcuts. You will have to make concessions and compromises. You need to exit the dead-end road of unilateral actions and return to the hard work of peace-making."
Prosor surprised the Palestinian observer at the U.N. by addressing him directly: "Mr. Mansour, in whose name will you submit the proposal to the General Assembly in September, Mahmoud Abbas or Hamas, Akram Haniyeh or Ismail Haniyeh? Will it be in the name of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, which calls for the destruction of Israel and the murder of Jews?"