Palestinians to seek UN recognition next month
RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) - The Palestinian president is moving forward with his plan to seek upgraded observer status at the United Nations next month, despite American and Israeli threats of financial or diplomatic retaliation, officials said on Sunday.
The decision sets the stage for a new showdown between Israel and the Palestinians at the world body, following last year's attempt by the Palestinians to seek status as a full member state. Although that initiative failed to pass the UN Security Council, it caused months of diplomatic tensions with Israel.
"We will go to the UN regardless of any threats," said Mr Tawfik Tirawi, a senior member of President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement. "I expect the Israelis to take punitive measures against us, if we win this status, but this is our choice and we will not retract it."
This year, the Palestinians are seeking "nonmember state" status in the UN General Assembly, where passage is assured. The 193-member assembly is dominated by developing nations sympathetic to the Palestinian cause.