Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas chose not to put a three-year timeframe for creating a Palestinian state into his speech last week at the United Nations’ General Assembly, and it’s unclear if the Palestinians plan to do so or not. Abbas, according to the text of his speech posted on the Palestinian WAFA news site, did call for a “specific timeframe,” but avoided naming what that timeframe should be.
The Times of Israel, citing reports from Israel Radio and The Guardian, provided a contradictory view of the Palestinian eagerness to propose the UN Security Council impose a three-year timeframe on an Israeli withdrawal from territory that would be turned into a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria [the West Bank], Gaza, and the eastern half of Jerusalem.
Israel Radio had a source claiming that the Palestinians hadn’t made the proposal yet because the Arab nations were still forming it, but that it would be done in the coming weeks.
However, it was apparently expected to be a part of Abbas’ speech as well. The Times of Israel pointed out that the official Palestinian WAFA news agency actually reported that Abbas demanded a three-year deadline, which he did not do.
The Guardian had their own source who claimed that a specific timeframe was never expected to be a part of Abbas’ UN speech, since it’s “meaningless” if the UN Security Council doesn’t back a deadline in general.
That seems unlikely. The United States is one of five major world powers with veto ability at the UN Security Council, and the initial comments from the US were very critical of Abbas’ UN speech.
The Guardian reported that US spokesperson Jen Psaki said of Abbas’ comments, which included accusing Israel of committing genocide, “Such provocative statements are counterproductive and undermine efforts to create a positive atmosphere and restore trust between the parties.”
The US has long opposed the imposition by the UN of a settlement to the Palestinian-Israel dispute, preferring mutual negotiations instead.
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, September 28, 2014)