Abbas pushes for state recognition

May 17, 2011 at 7:11 AM   |   Comments

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RAMALLAH, West Bank, May 17 (UPI) -- Palestinians will request international recognition of a state of Palestine to pave the way for legal claims against Israel, the Palestinian president wrote.

"Minutes after the state of Israel was established on May 14, 1948, the United States granted it recognition. Our Palestinian state, however, remains a promise unfulfilled," Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas wrote in an op-ed piece published in The New York Times Monday.

"Palestine's admission to the United Nations would pave the way for the internationalization of the conflict as a legal matter, not only a political one. It would also pave the way for us to pursue claims against Israel at the United Nations, human rights treaty bodies and the International Court of Justice," Abbas wrote.

Negotiations remain the Palestinian Authority's first option he said, adding "due to their failure we are now compelled to turn to the international community to assist us in preserving the opportunity."

The choice is not between Palestinian unity or peace with Israel but a choice between a two-state solution or settlement colonies, he wrote.

"Our territory is recognized as the lands framed by the 1967 border, though it is occupied by Israel," he wrote.

Being recognized as a state is tremendously beneficial for all Palestinians, Abbas said, "those living in the homeland, in exile and under occupation."

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