Abbas may return to UN

February 16, 2012

The Palestinian Authority is threatening to resume its attempt to gain recognition of a Palestinian state at the UN if Israel does not agree to freeze all settlement activity.

The ultimatum was delivered by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at a meeting of the Arab League on Sunday and in a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

It is a de facto recognition of the fact that the talks that took place between Israel and the PA in Jordan last month have failed.

While the Israeli government has unofficially offered a limited settlement freeze in order to further the talks, Mr Abbas accused Mr Netanyahu of not agreeing to make any confidence-building gestures and ruled out anything but a complete freeze, an Israeli commitment to holding talks on a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders and the release of 130 long-serving Palestinian prisoners.

The attempt by the Palestinians to gain recognition of an independent state at the UN last year failed following intense diplomatic pressure from Israel and the US.

Last updated: 1:36pm, February 16 2012