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Palestinian official: Israel's threats are empty

UNITED NATIONS — A few minutes after President Mahmoud Abbas received a standing ovation from the General Assembly, Palestinian official Mohammad Shtayyeh entered the media centre and gave an impromptu press conference. Speaking forcefully, he said that the Palestinian delegation had not come to the UN to bluff or play a game.

Palestinian official Mohammad Shtayyeh (photo: Lisa Goldman)

“We must go to the Security Council first because the General Assembly cannot grant Palestine UN membership as an independent state,” he said. “There will be a vote in the General Assembly after the Security Council approves our application for full membership status.”

Asked if the Palestinians had enough votes, Dr. Shtayyeh answered that the Palestinians knew there was a lot of pressure on nine key countries to abstain, but that each one – including Gabon, which Israel has been courting – had assured him that morning of their support. He added, ‘China explicitly stated that it would vote “yes.”‘

Asked about President Obama’s speech, Dr. Shtayyeh said, “You cannot be for the liberation of Yemen and Syria, and then skip a line when it comes to Palestine.”

On Israel’s reaction to the Palestinian delegation’s bid for statehood, he said, “Israel’s threats are empty. It can only keep, or steal, our tax revenues. That will merely serve to undermine the security arrangements we keep in place for their benefit [ie, by witholding tax money used to pay Palestinian security forces], and Israel knows that.”

“And if Israel wants to cancel the Oslo Accords, well, all that’s left of Oslo is Palestinian Areas A and B. If Israel wants that, they can have it.”

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    1. RichardNYC

      Come at me bro

      Reply to Comment
    2. Ben Israel

      The Palestinians threats are empty. How many times has Abbas threatened to resign or disband the PA, for example?

      Reply to Comment
    3. Mordechai ben yosef

      The essential point made here are the threats to cut financial resources of the PA. Netanyahu has previously supported US funding of the PA. In the US house of representatives there is currently a letter circulating from Reps David Price and Peter Welch to President Obama arguing not to cut off US PA funding. The reasons are obvious. Without this funding, the PA will no longer be able to subcontract West Bank security on behalf of Israel and the US. Mr.Shtayyeh is simply stating the obvious. It is interesting that Richard and Ben Israel see as threatening Mr. Shtayyeh accurate analysis of Israeli interests.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Klang

      how is yur application for Egyptian citizenship coming along. I can tell you how to speed it up with one word-Baksheesh

      Reply to Comment
    5. RichardNYC

      I agree with you – i was mocking the idea that it was threatening

      Reply to Comment
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