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PLO officials divided before Abbas UN speech

Sept. 29, 2014 12:28 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 1, 2014 11:16 A.M.)
NEW YORK (Ma'an) -- Palestinian officials were divided on the approach President Abbas should take before his Friday speech at the United Nations during the 69th annual General Debate.

A source close to Palestinian officials in New York told Ma'an that the delegation had discussed three approaches to address the assembly.

The first camp was in favor of unambiguously declaring that the PLO would hold Israel accountable for war crimes at the ICC, based on the belief that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and his right-wing coalition would never allow peace talks to bear fruit.

Officials supporting this position said that Netanyahu would continue settlement expansion and would never return Palestinian land to the PLO.

The second camp urged Abbas to move slowly on going to the ICC and use neutral language to avoid angering the United States, believing that a Palestinian State will eventually be established.

The third position, which had most support, was to strongly condemn Israel's actions without upsetting the US administration.

Officials said that Abbas should use international relations and Arab allies to direct the "Palestinian public's anger against the Israeli occupation while keeping the door open to understandings with the US administration."

In his speech, Abbas said that a return to direct negotiations was impossible and accused Israel of committing "genocide."

Abbas, however, did not set a deadline for fast-tracking to Palestinian statehood, after aides suggested they were eying 2017 as the year for Palestine to be born.

Abbas said a resolution backed by Arab countries would be presented to the UN Security Council to re-launch talks with a view to reaching a final settlement with Israel on the two-state solution.

It remained unlikely that such a resolution would garner support within the 15-member council, notably from the United States, which has repeatedly vetoed resolutions seen as undermining Israel.
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