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Leaders unmoved by Israeli objections to State of Palestine IDs

Jan. 7, 2013 6:14 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 8, 2013 5:20 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian leadership couldn't care less about Israel's objections to planned State of Palestine passports and other identity documents, a Fatah official said Monday.

Party spokesman Ahmad Assaf said Israel's opposition to the measure, implemented after the UN accepted Palestine as a non-member state in November, would not change their course.

"Since when does the occupier allow the occupied to attain liberation and self determination?" he remarked.

"If we had waited for Israeli approval, we would still have been living in the time before the PA (government was established), because Israel doesn’t want any Palestinians to live in this land and this is a fact."

He continued: "The whole world supports us while Israel is politically isolated, and if it’s necessary we will go to the UN again and the International Criminal Court and other bodies."

"The Palestinian train has started and will not stop until it arrives at its destination: an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital."

On Sunday, President Mahmoud Abbas issued a decree giving the cabinet two months to come up with regulations to issue identity documents bearing the State of Palestine.

Passports, identity cards, population records, vehicle and driving licenses, and postage stamps are included in the decree. It follows similar amendments this week instructing official papers to bear the State of Palestine header, and embassies to use the State designation.

The office of the Israeli prime minister responded by calling the measure "devoid of any political meaning and creates no practical impact on the ground," in a statement quoted by the Voice of Israel radio.

"A Palestinian state will only be created as part of a peace agreement with Israel," the statement continued, echoing Israel and the US' objections to the November UN vote.

At the General Assembly meeting, 138 states voted in favor of accepting the Palestinian state.
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