Israel Considering Counter To Palestinian UN Request

Israel is preparing for a counter to the Palestinian bid for enhanced United Nations status later on this month. The president of Palestine is set to ask the UN for a — non-member state status sometime this month — a move that Israel, the US, and Britain are not thrilled with.

Al Jazeera reports that Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor stated:

“Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman convened Israel’s 27 ambassadors in Europe for an urgent meeting this week in Vienna. The ambassadors will seek to define a diplomatic course with the Europeans intended to counter this initiative and to this end Lieberman will go to Vienna.”

A senior Israeli official also noted that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s inner circle of ministers has reached an agreement on measures they will take should the Palestinians ask the UN General Assembly for the diplomatic upgrade, notes Reuters.

The upgrade to a non-member state would give Palestinians, who are currently registered as an “observer entity,” to have access to bodies like the International Criminal Court. If they are granted this access, they will be able to file complaints against Israel.

The US and Israel both oppose the move by the Palestinians and have asked that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas return to peace talks that collapsed in 2010 after Israel began settlement construction in the occupied West Bank.

The Israeli official noted that if the Palestinians ask the UN for non-member state status, then Israel may cancel the Paris Protocol, which is a key economic accord between them and the Palestinian Authority. They may also legalize a dozen outposts that were set up by Israeli settlers in the West Bank.

Palestinians are seeking to establish a state in east Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip. Most countries have considered the settlements Israel built in occupied territory as illegal moves under international law.