Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Saturday he will make a bid on Sept. 27 to obtain non-member status at the United Nations.
“We will go to the U.N. General Assembly for consultations with our friends on the draft resolution calling for the upgrade of Palestine (to non-member status)” in the United Nations, Abbas said in a televised address.
“We are going to the U.N. to say that we are a state which applies the fourth Geneva convention (on the protection of civilians in time of war). There are 133 countries that recognize us as a state with east Jerusalem as its capital and where we have embassies hoisting the Palestinian flag.”
Palestinians now have an observer entity status.
Palestinian foreign minister Riyad al-Malki said last month that Abbas would make the upgrade request on Sept. 27 during the U.N. General Assembly.
Palestinians are assured that the resolution would be passed with a wide majority. Such a resolution needs support of more than half of the 194 member states of the United Nations.
In September 2011, Abbas made a high-profile effort to obtain full-member status at the U.N., but the request was never put to a vote in the Security Council, where the United States had pledged to veto it.
Several weeks ago, a senior official from the Palestine Liberation Organization said Washington was pressuring the Palestinian leadership to delay its upgrade plans until after the U.S. elections in November.
Meanwhile, Abbas and the Islamist Hamas group ruling Gaza on Saturday each strongly denied responsibility for the failure of national reconciliation efforts.
“Reconciliation means elections, and wanting to establish an independent emirate in Gaza will not work,” Abbas said in the televised speech, addressing himself directly to Hamas leaders in the Gaza enclave.
“Reconciliation will not be achieved until the electoral commission has started recording (voters) in Gaza so elections can take place three months later,” he said.
Abbas also said Ismail Haniya, who heads the Hamas government in Gaza, “has no right to represent Palestine abroad as prime minister, but as a leader of Hamas,” referring to his intention to attend last month’s Non-Alignment Summit in Tehran.
Haniya abandoned the plan after Abbas threatened to boycott the gathering.
Hamas on Saturday dismissed Abbas’s comments.
“Abbas has completed his mandate as per the law and there is no president in the context of national (Palestinian) consensus,” Hamas spokesman Taher al-Nunu told AFP.
“Abbas is trying to raise tension against Hamas to divert public opinion from the domestic crisis,” he said, referring to social unrest in the West Bank.
On July 2, the Hamas government “temporarily” halted voter registration just over a month after granting the electoral commission permission to work in the Gaza Strip.
The Palestinian government in the West Bank on July 10 said it would hold local elections in October across the Palestinian territories, sparking anger from Hamas.
In April 2011, the ruling Fatah party of Abbas signed a reconciliation deal with its Hamas rivals who govern Gaza in a move aimed at ending years of rivalry.
But the deal was never implemented, with the factions falling out over plans to set up a caretaker cabinet of independents which was to have prepared the way for presidential and legislative elections within a year.