The United Nations is considering to declare Palestine a sovereign state whose territory includes all of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem during its annual General Assembly meeting in September.
The New York Times reports that the Palestinian Authority has been building support for the declaration, which has been steadily gaining momentum.
If such a declaration would be made, it would mean that Israel is occupying the terrority of a fellow United Nations member.
Israeli Defense Minister, Ehud Barack called the possible move a “diplomatic-political tsunami.”
Aides to Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu are reportedly offering transfer of some West Bank territory outside its settlements to Palestinian control, and an international conference that would hammer out a final land agreement.
Palestinians, buoyed by their diplomatic gains and swiftly-moving regime changes across the Middle East, and embittered by Israel’s refusual to stop the building of settlements in the West Bank, are not biting.
“We want to generate pressure on Israel to make it feel isolated and help it understand that there can be no talks without a stop to settlements,” said Nabil Shaath, who leads the foreign affairs department of Fatah, the main party of the Palestinian Authority. “Without that, our goal is membership in the United Nations General Assembly in September.”
White House Middle East advisor Dennis Ross said Monday that the United States was opposed to the Palestinian Authority seeking a UN statehood declaration.
“We have consistently made it clear that the way to produce a Palestinian state is through negotiations, not through unilateral declarations, not through going to the UN,” Dennis Ross told the Anti-Defamation League’s annual leadership conference. “Our position on that has been consistent in opposition.”