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Fatah official says going to UN 'despite threats'

Nov. 6, 2012 8:02 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 7, 2012 12:06 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Fatah central committee member Azzam al-Ahmad said Tuesday that the leadership was not going to back down from seeking to upgrade Palestine's status at the UN next month.

"We are going to the UN despite the outcome and despite the threats," al-Ahmad said in an interview.

"We know there is an Israeli ministerial committee to discuss the issue and to start setting punishments on use but we have decided and it's not over, we're going despite the results."

He added: "Israeli threats are continuing and (President Mahmoud) Abbas will go against the Israeli right, which believes the Palestinians shouldn't have an independent state."

Al-Ahmad said he was not surprised by Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's remarks, who has indicated he would work toward collapsing the Palestinian Authority if Abbas succeeded.

With the negotiations frozen since 2010 in a dispute over Israeli settlement construction in the occupied West Bank, Abbas plans to ask the UN General Assembly this month to upgrade the Palestinian diplomatic status at the world body.

They are currently registered as an "observer entity", but want to become an "observer state", granting them access to bodies such as the International Criminal Court, where they could file complaints against Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has renewed his call for an immediate resumption of peace talks and has warned Abbas against making any unilateral moves in the UN.

"Yesterday I invited President Abbas to start direct negotiations without preconditions," Netanyahu said in Jerusalem, a day after repeating an appeal to Abbas for renewed dialogue.

"Unfortunately, I have still not heard back from the Palestinian side ... I hope they won't go to one-sided action in the UN because that will only push peace back and will only produce unnecessary instability," he said.
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