Washington, Nov. 9 - The Palestinian Authority said Wednesday it does not have enough votes to secure full United Nations membership from the U.N. Security Council and said it will instead turn to the General Assembly for upgraded status.
Anonymous PA officials conceded to the Associated Press and the Jerusalem Post that they did not have enough support toovercome U.S.-led opposition to the Statehood bid. Britain said earlier Wednesday it had decided to abstain from any UNSC vote, but the officials placed the blame largely on the United States.
"The Americans have been threatening from day one to foil the application for membership of a Palestinian state in the U.N.," the official said to the Post.
The officials quoted said the PA would now turn to the U.N. General Assembly, where a simple majority vote would given them upgraded status on the level of entities like the Vatican.
"Our plan now is to take the battle to the U.N. General Assembly, where we are certain to score victory. This will allow us access to many important U.N. agencies and organizations, including the International Criminal Court (ICC)."
The Palestinians have spurned negotiations as they try to unilaterally achieve U.N.-recognized statehood. Upgraded status, even without the privileges of full membership, would afford the PA new arenas like the ICC to harass Israel.
Israeli President Shimon Peres used the 16th anniversary of former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination to reject this approach and called on the PA to return to peace talks.
"I believe that it is possible to renew the peace process with the Palestinians, which was started by Yitzhak," he said. "I turn to the Palestinian leadership and advise it to return to the negotiating table to settle the disagreements that remain."
"Peace won't be achieved through the U.N., because the U.N. cannot provide the Palestinians with independence, and cannot provide Israel with security," he added.