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Fatah leader: UN upgrade 'clear and simple'

Nov. 2, 2012 10:56 A.M. (Updated: Nov. 4, 2012 12:10 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Fatah leader Nabil Shaath said Friday that President Mahmoud Abbas' upcoming request for a vote on Palestine's status at the UN will be "clear and simple."

Echoing Abbas' remarks to Israeli television on Thursday, Shaath told Ma'an that the upgrade would not end the occupation.

"The PA will not issue its own currency, but the political victory will enable us to join international organizations and sign the Fourth Geneva Convention," Shaath said.

“Israel doesn’t want to be sued for its crimes," he added.

According to Shaath, the failure to seek Palestine's membership as a state in the United Nations in 1988 rather than the PLO was a "mistake," as Palestine will soon be able to access international courts.

"We will have political goals behind this decision and we will win an overwhelming majority," Shaath said.

After the UN bid, he said the Palestinian leadership "is thinking seriously of strategic options for the coming period. We have held local elections and are currently studying the possibility of holding parliamentary elections because we don’t want to remain hostage to Hamas’ position”.

Shaath said Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood's support for Hamas had limits.

“I told the Egyptians that through the Arab Spring which took place in Egypt, I see that it will empower us in confronting the occupation but Hamas views it as an empowerment against Fatah and not Israel. ... The Egyptian leadership answered that it wants a Palestinian state on its borders and not an Islamic or a heathen emirate”.

In an interview with Israel's Channel 2 TV broadcast a day earlier, Abbas said the UN bid "doesn't mean we are looking for an independent state. It will be under occupation, as it is."

Asked if it should be seen as a unilateral step outside of negotiations, Abbas responded that "if you are talking about unilateralism, I think settlement activities are unilateral."

He added: "This is occupied territory. You don't have the right to send your citizens (here)."
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