palestinian authority

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Things are moving forward for the Palestinian leadership!  While Egypt’s President, Mohamed Morsi, proclaims justice for Palestinians as the foremost issue for the Islamic world, more European countries come on board in recognising the full statehood of Palestine!

This is a victory both for the government in Gaza, who hosted a visit by Morsi recently, and for Mahmoud Abbas, who had Palestine’s status in the United Nation upgraded. The stage now seems well set for the formation of a unity government. This is something Israel has worked hard to prevent but, according to this press release, the details of that government are being worked out in Cairo today!

Father Dave

source: www.israelnationalnews.com…

Cyprus Gives ‘Palestine’ Full Diplomatic Status

Cyprus upgrades its relations with the Palestinian Authority to full diplomatic mission status, will open a “Palestinian embassy”.

By Elad Benari

Cyprus has given the “state of Palestine” an embassy, even though it still says that a “Palestinian state” needs to be established through negotiations with Israel.

AFP reported Cyprus said on Friday it has upgraded its relations with the Palestinian Authority to full diplomatic mission status, one of just eight European Union countries to do so.

The decision was announced by the Cypriot Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis during an official visit by the Palestinian Authority’s Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki.

“I informed my Palestinian counterpart of the decision of the government to upgrade the status of the Palestinian diplomatic representation in Cyprus from that of a Diplomatic Mission to that of an Embassy of the State of Palestine,” Marcoullis told reporters, according to AFP.

She said that this “important decision” was in line with the recognition of a Palestinian state in 1988 by Cyprus, and follows seven other EU members that have recognized a Palestinian State — Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia.

A Cyprus Representation Office opened in Ramallah in 2009.

Malki said the decision sent a “very important message,” adding, “We hope this courageous step taken by Cyprus will be taken by others in the European Union.”

Read this article in full here: www.israelnationalnews.com…

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Father Roy writes:   The highlight in the following article is mine.  Also note what our Vice President is doing:  Biden: U.S. prepared to hold direct talks with Iran.  

Peace, Roy

Kerry calls PM, Abbas, vows commitment to peace

US secretary of state discusses Syria, Iran with Netanyahu, vows to work to restart talks in phone call with PA president.

Netanyahu, Kerry at the US Capitol, March 23, 2010. Photo: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

New US Secretary of State John Kerry phoned both Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday to discuss the diplomatic process, in an early sign he intends to make this a top priority on his agenda.

In both conversations he commended Netanyahu’s decision last week to release some NIS 400 million in tax revenues to the PA and praised it as a positive step.

The calls followed Kerry’s phone conversation Saturday with President Shimon Peres, who said the election results in Israel provided new opportunities in the diplomatic process.

Kerry is expected to visit the region on his first trip abroad in the middle of the month.

A US State Department communiqué said that Netanyahu updated Kerry on his efforts to put together a new government.

The statement also said Kerry “underscored his personal commitment and that of President [Barack] Obama to support Israel’s security and to pursue a lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians.”

Kerry and Netanyahu also spoke about Iran and Syria, and – according to the statement – pledged to work closely together during Kerry’s tenure.

Kerry spoke to Abbas of his “personal commitment and hope for continued efforts to pursue peace,” and pledged to continue efforts with Congress to release budget support for the PA.

According to Palestinian news agency Wafa, Kerry conferred with Abbas about the necessity of holding meetings in the near future with the ultimate aim of restarting the peace process.

Citing PA spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh, Wafa reported that Kerry assured the PA head that Obama “cares about the peace process” and is eager restart the stalled talks.

Last week, Kerry suggested that time was running out for a two-state solution with Israel living alongside a sovereign Palestinian state, and said such an eventuality would be “disastrous.”

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What is Mahmoud Abbas up to?

Normally when we speak of a government ‘rubber-stamping’ something we mean that the action is quite trivial, but in this case it’s the rubber-stamps and the office stationary that are being changed and it all seems highly significant!

Surely the change of name, in and of itself, will do little to affect the international standing of the Palestinian people, apart from aggravate Israel. Perhaps Abbas’ rationale is the morale-building effect he foresees for the Palestinian people themselves?

Father Dave

source: www.saudigazette.com…

Palestinian Authority gives way to the ‘State of Palestine’

Mohammed Mar’i

Saudi Gazette

RAMALLAH – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has ordered all Palestinian institutions to stop using the term Palestinian National Authority on official documents, a report said Friday.

The state-run Wafa news agency said that Abbas asked the institutions, including all Palestinian missions abroad, to replace the term with “the State of Palestine” in accordance with the UN recognition of Palestine as a nonmember observer state.

The report said that the change went into effect immediately, and was applied to official documents, seals and medals.

The report said that the embassies should “coordinate the change with the (Palestinian) Ministry of Foreign Affairs” to handle it with the countries that opposed the Palestinian move at the UN General Assembly.

According to presidential decree, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), with whom Israel signed the Oslo Peace Accords, will not change its official documents, signs and seals.

On Sunday, a senior PLO official recommended that the Palestinian Authority (PA) add the label “State of Palestine” to all of its official documents and signs. Sa’eb Erekat, a member of the PLO’s Executive Committee and head of its Negotiations Department, also suggested that the PA prepare a new constitution, achieve reconciliation with Hamas, and seek membership in UN conventions and agencies following the upgrading of the status.

The PLO official said that following the UN vote, the “occupation has become an occupation of a member of the UN by another member. This requires creating a new political dynamic and approach between the international community and Israel.”

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According to the following article in today’s Jerusalem Post, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has publicly confirmed that he still supports the idea of a ‘two-state solution’ to the Israel-Palestine conflict, along the lines spelled out in his Bar-Ilan speech of 2009.

Apparently others within the ranks have been saying publicly that Netanyahu’s  Bar-Ilan speech had been “tactical” and directed to international ears (in other words, that it was a blatant lie). This latest statement is designed both to salvage Netanyahu’s reputation for honesty and his international standing as a man of peace.

But when we look at the details of the Bar-Ilan proposal, it’s a little difficult to distinguish between Netanyahu’s concept of a Palestinian state and no state. The requirements he spelled out then included:

  • That the Palestinian state be allowed no military
  • That Israel must retain control of all its borders
  • That no portion of Jerusalem be a part of this new state

Such an entity could hardly be considered a ‘sovereign state’ and Netanyahu knows full well that this form of ‘statehood’ is something that the Palestinians will never accept.

So perhaps Netanyahu’s rivals in the Likud party are simply being more honest? They are not interested in a Palestinian state and they don’t pretend to be.  Perhaps their rise to power will (ironically) hasten the day of peace?

Father Dave

Father Dave

Father Dave

source: www.jpost.com…

PM reiterates support for demilitarized ‘Palestine’

By LAHAV HARKOV
12/31/2012 21:32

Contrary to claims by top Likud candidates, Netanyahu stands behind his words in Bar-Ilan speech, spokesman says.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu stands by his support for a Palestinian state under the conditions described in his 2009 Bar-Ilan speech, despite claims to the contrary by other Likud Beytenu candidates, a spokesman for the joint election list said on Monday.

The Likud-Yisrael Beytenu slate does not have a platform, and several candidates have spoken out recently against Palestinian statehood and a two-state solution.

“A Palestinian state will be established when the Palestinians recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people, will declare the end of the [Israeli-Palestinian] conflict and only if arrangements ensuring the security of Israeli citizens are made,” the Likud Beytenu spokesman stated.

Netanyahu, according to the spokesman, does not see a Palestinian state at the top of his agenda, with Hamas ruling Gaza and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas working with Hamas and taking unilateral actions. The prime minister’s priority, he said, is to lead Israel while it is faced with a growing Hamas and the Iranian threat.

“The Left brought up questions [about Palestinian statehood] because they are ignoring the true, immediate threats of what is happening around us in the Middle East,” he added.

The comments came a day after President Shimon Peres, addressing Israeli ambassadors gathered in Jerusalem, called Abbas a “partner for peace” and argued that there is no alternative to the two-state solution.

In response, Likud Beytenu blasted Peres as being disconnected from public opinion.

“A Palestinian state would not only fail to bring peace and stability to the region, but would increase the tension and usher in permanent instability,” Yair Shamir, fourth on the Likud Beytenu list, said on Monday.

“The long and determined effort by Israeli leaders to promote a Palestinian state and to soften the Palestinian Authority’s harsh features cannot change the fact that a Palestinian state would add fuel to the fire of terrorism in the region,” Shamir added. “We must remove the idea of a Palestinian state in our area from the Israeli agenda immediately if not sooner.”

read the complete article here: www.jpost.com…

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And now we see what the Palestinian UN vote was all about – ‘lawfare’!

Prior to the UN vote some of Abbas’ critics were questioning whether it was worth the effort to upgrade Palestine’s status within an organisation that is dominated by the super-powers on the Security Council anyway. This latest development seems to answer the question. Palestine’s new UN status opens up new legal avenues for Palestinian leaders whereby they can take their oppressors to court!

Of course court decisions are likely to prove ineffectual too without the support of the same super-powers, so it remains to be seen whether Palestine’s new UN status will really amount to much!

Mahmoud Abbas

Mahmoud Abbas

source: mondoweiss.net……

Palestinian officials hint they will go to ICC over Israel’s latest settlement plan.

Annie Robbins

Since Palestine’s UN upgrade two weeks ago, events and rhetoric appear to be on steroids, moving at a swift pace. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, speaking at a press conference in Ankara with Turkish President Abdullah Gü Wednesday, said he would take legal action against Israel should it make efforts to colonize E1, a portion of land east of  Jerusalem. “His country is coordinating with Turkey to develop a legal strategy,” according to Turkish daily Today’s Zaman.

Palestine’s Foreign Minister Riad Malki also dangled threats of a strong response if Israel proceeded ahead with its latest colonization scheme and said Palestine’s next move would be to request membership at the International Criminal Court.

Jerusalem Post also says, PA to request ICC membership over Israeli settlements:

The Palestinian Authority Wednesday repeated threats to file charges against Israel with the International Criminal Court [ICC] over plans to build housing units in E1, on the eastern outskirts of Jerusalem.

PA Foreign Minister Riad Malki said that the Palestinians’ next move would be to request membership in the ICC…….

The PA Ministry of Information in Ramallah also voiced support for filing charges against Israel with the ICC. The ministry accused Israel of “escalating its political and military offensive” against the Palestinians and called for action to prosecute Israeli “war criminals.”

Jerusalem Post, citing Turkish daily Today Zaman, reported Turkish President Abdullah Gül saying Israel’s threat to build is EI was “playing with fire.”

Today’s Zaman states, “Abbas reveals Turkey, Palestine to coordinate legal steps against Israel:”

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday said his country is coordinating with Turkey to develop a legal strategy for the newly recognized UN-observer state of Palestine to challenge Israel’s increased settlement activity in the Occupied Territories, especially against those that will cut off East Jerusalem from the West Bank.

“We have come to an agreement with the Turkish government on two points: One is to establish close coordination with Turkish permanent representation at the UN with our UN representation in New York and the other is to have Turkish Foreign Ministry experts provide legal counsel to our side,” he told a group of reporters in Ankara.

According to Today’s Zaman, Abbas has been discussing possible financial assistance with Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan– probably to prop up the PA since Israel’s cutting off their funds for the next four months, or so it threatens.

“We acquired many rights when we were recognized as a non-member state by the UN. But in fact we will not eagerly consult international courts if Israel agrees to and complies with a peace agreement,” Abbas maintained.

Abbas also said he discussed monetary assistance to Palestine with Erdoğan, whom he described as very sympathetic to the Palestinian cause. “He knew all the details about Palestine and we have discussed ways to help Palestine in the face of punitive sanctions by Israel and the US,” he explained. He recalled that the Arab League has set up a monitoring committee headed by Qatar on what assistance would be provided to Palestine in case funds were cut off by Israel and the US in the wake of recognition at the UN Assembly.

He also underlined that his government puts a priority on reconciliation among Palestinian groups. “Khaled Meshaal called me half an hour before I arrived [in Turkey] and we discussed reconciliation steps,” he revealed during the meeting. He said Hamas is ready to pursue talks with the PA under Egyptian mediation after the group’s ongoing internal elections.

By the way, Turkey pulled out the red carpet for Abbas. Literally, brass horns and all. (video!). Israel must be fuming.