Palestinian Ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour and PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi have accused Israel of timing the recent attack on Gaza, in part, to challenge Palestinian efforts to seek UN non member state status.
Although Israeli military escalations and attacks prior to Israel’s parliamentary elections are widely perceived as a familiar tradition, the accusation from officials that the “Pillar of Cloud” attack was initiated, in part, to thwart the UN bid slated for November 29 is fresh.
Note the ambassadors trading barbs.
The Palestinian UN envoy said Wednesday’s attack – which killed the top Hamas military commander in the territory – was deliberately timed to torpedo the UN vote in two weeks and influence Israel’s general election in January.
Israel’s UN ambassador retorted that events in Gaza had shown the futility of the Palestinian campaign for international recognition.
“They should change their request from a Non-Member State to Non-Member Terrorist State,” said ambassador Ron Prosor.
The US is talking with Palestinian officials in a bid to at least delay the vote, UN diplomats said.
“The Gaza strikes will complicate negotiations around the Palestinian application even more,” one Western official said on condition of anonymity.
The Israeli ambassador meanwhile warned the Security Council meeting that Palestinian success at the United Nations could lead to more violence.
Palestinian ambassador Riyad Mansour questioned why Israel is fighting so hard against the UN vote if it believes the bid is meaningless, saying Israeli leaders are “dead afraid” of Palestinian admission to the General Assembly.
“I believe part of the timing of the attack by the Israelis on Gaza is trying to divert attention away from our energies in mobilising the international community” for the UN vote, he said.
Palestinian News & Info Agency WAFA:
PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi Thursday denounced Israel’s latest military escalation against Gaza and its illegal policies of targeted assassinations and air strikes which have resulted in the killing and injury of Palestinian civilians.
She said this assault is a deliberate attempt to damage Palestinian efforts to gain observer-state status in the United Nations General Assembly.
“The Israeli government has acted with impunity for its unilateral violations for far too long. The illegal cruel siege of the Gaza Strip, along with all other violations of international law must come to an end,” she said.
Ashrwai called on the European Union, the Quartet and members of the international community to adopt serious measures to bring an immediate halt to Israel’s policy of extrajudicial executions, the killing and injury of innocent civilians and the continued oppression of Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation.
Haaretz reported yesterday:
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sees the vote in the UN as having extremely serious consequences for Israel. Netanyahu has held discussions on the matter almost every day over the past few days, and has been dealing with the matter no less than with that of the escalation and rockets in the south – if not more. Netanyahu is of the opinion that while the present round of fighting in the Gaza area can be controlled, the snowball effect started by the Palestinian initiative in the UN could be much harder to stop.
Netanyahu, Lieberman and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said the Palestinian approach to the International Criminal Court would be “a declaration of war”
It seems though, that war has already been declared.