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Shaath: Palestine prepared to join more UN orgs

Nov. 26, 2013 11:57 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 28, 2013 8:28 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- PLO leader Nabil Shaath said Tuesday that Palestine was prepared to join international organizations after talks with Israel failed to result in a breakthrough after five months.

“The negotiations are falling on deaf ears,” Shaath told Ma’an.

“The distance between us and them is huge, and that is apparent in the statements of their leaders regarding Jerusalem, the West Bank and the (Jordan) Valley,” he said.

Shaath added that the PA still has the “weapon” of going to international organization including the International Criminal Court if Israel continues to impede peace talks.

“There are 35 conventions that do not need approval to join, on top of them is the Rome Statuette,” he said, referring to the 1998 treaty which established the ICC.

He said PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat would continue his work in a caretaker capacity until the leadership met. He noted that Erekat's resignation along with another negotiator had not been formally accepted.

Shaath added that the only reason the Palestinian leadership had not sought membership in more international organizations was to avoid giving Israel an excuse to not free 52 remaining veteran prisoners.

“There are organizations that await our application, and ask us when are we applying,” he said.

Negotiations between Israel and the PLO relaunched this summer following intensive efforts from the US. The last formal negotiations broke down in September 2010 over settlement construction.

The UN admitted Palestine as a non-member observer state in November 2012.
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