US President Barack Obama has asked the Palestinian Authority (PA) to abandon its plan to submit a resolution to the United Nations General Assembly later this month to enhance Palestine’s status at the UN from “observer entity” to “observer state.” Nabil Abu Rudeina, the spokesman for the acting PA Chief, Mahmoud Abbas, said on Sunday that the US president had called on Abbas to halt the bid, AFP reported. "There was a long telephone conversation” between the two, Abu Rudeina said, adding that "Obama expressed the opposition of the United States to the decision to go to the UN General Assembly." The spokesman noted that Abbas explained "the reasons and motives for the Palestinian decision to go to the UN..., including the continued [Israeli] settlement activity and Israeli aggression against citizens and property."
Most of the members at the 193-member General Assembly are sympathetic to the Palestinian plan.The status will grant Palestine access to the International Criminal Court. The US and Israel assert that Palestinians would have to first return to the negotiation table with Tel Aviv. In 2010, Israel broke down the talks after refusing to extend a moratorium on its settlement activities on the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Last September, the UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) accepted the Palestinian Authority as a full member. MN/HN