Palestinians to seek U.N. support for state
The Palestinians plan to take their quest for independence to the U.N. Security Council, aiming to secure international support for a state, Palestinian officials said Sunday, according to Reuters.
Saeb Erekat, chief Palestinian negotiator, said there was no time frame for the diplomatic initiative to secure backing for the state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. "When we are ready, we will go," he told Reuters.
Palestinians attributed the move to frustration at the lack of progress in peace negotiations with Israel which have been stalled for a year.
Despite months of diplomacy, the United States has failed to broker a resumption of talks between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the Israeli government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Abbas has stuck by his demand for a total halt to Israeli settlement construction in the occupied West Bank before any return to peace talks. He has resisted recent U.S. pressure to resume negotiations right away.
Head of the Western-backed Palestinian Authority, Abbas aims to establish a state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, territories Israel captured in a 1967 war.
Mohammed Dahlan, a senior official in Abbas's Fatah faction, told reporters that the diplomatic initiative had been agreed by the Palestine Liberation Organization executive which Abbas chairs. "We are now leading a diplomatic battle," he said.