CAIRO (CBS DC/AP) — Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas warns the Palestinians would never recognize Israel as a Jewish state, and accused Israel of establishing an apartheid government, reports The Times of Israel.
The comments came at a summit of Arab League foreign ministers in Cairo.
Abbas condemned a controversial law that would define Israel as “the Jewish state” and promised to move ahead with plans to see a declaration of Palestinian statehood at the United Nations. setting a November 2016 deadline to end Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.
Abbas told Arab League foreign ministers that he had put off such a step repeatedly in response to requests from Washington, but: “We can’t wait any longer.”
“The status quo is not sustainable any longer, especially at a time when the Israeli government is continuing its attacks, its settlements, demolishing houses, confiscating lands and imposing facts on the ground,” he said
Abbas said he will now begin consultations on the draft resolution, but did not mention a timetable.
“This is a basic issue, this is a very important issue, and the Arab League agrees with it,” said Arab League Chief Nabil Elaraby, adding that it is “natural” that Palestine is heading to the Security Council now. Arab League foreign ministers unanimously supported the plan to advance the issue to the Security Council and conduct consultations with member states.
The resolution is likely to fail, either because it falls short of the needed votes or because the U.S. will veto it.
The Palestinian bid appears largely symbolic and aimed at generating political leverage.
The last round of U.S.-brokered peace talks collapsed in April. Since then, Israel fought a 50-day war against Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip and advanced plans to build hundreds of new homes in Jewish areas of east Jerusalem.
Abbas warned that the Palestinians could take other steps if the Security Council rejects the resolution, including joining the International Criminal Court.
He also asked Arab League countries to aide his government with a “safety net” of $100 million per month.
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