Palestinian bid for UN membership on Sept.27

WEST BANK: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Saturday he will make a bid on Sept.27 to obtain non-member status at the United Nations.

“We will go to the UN General Assembly for consultations with our friends  on the draft resolution calling for the upgrade of Palestine (to non-member  status)” in the United Nations, Abbas said in a televised address.

“We are going to the UN to say that we are a state which applies the fourth Geneva convention (on the protection of civilians in time of war). There are  133 countries that recognise us as a state with east Jerusalem as its capital  and where we have embassies hoisting the Palestinian flag.” Palestinians now have an observer entity status.

Abbas says that government employees will not receive full salaries this month because donor countries have not delivered promised aid.

The US and Arab countries have failed to come through this year with the aid money they have pledged, leaving the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) that governs much of the West Bank in a budgetary shortfall that has contributed to rising prices and delays in the payment of government salaries.

The economic conditions have helped spark small but growing protests in the West Bank.

Last week demonstrators halted traffic in key Palestinian cities.

There are some 154,000 Palestinian civil servants, and their salaries help keep their extended families out of poverty.  Abbas spoke to reporters on Saturday in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Asserting that the ongoing protests against the rising cost of living in the West Bank are legitimate, Abbas reiterated that Israel and some Arab countries share the blame for the PNA’s financial crisis.

The PNA, he said, will not seek to stop the popular protests as long as they remain peaceful and do not harm public interests.

However, he stressed that the government would not allow any attacks on public properties.

“The PNA will not intervene, but we will stand in the face of those who may try to sabotage or set fire or damage (public properties),” Abbas said.

Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said on Thursday he was willing to resign if the public demanded, but did not say that he was going to do so.

(gulftoday.ae / 10.09.2012)

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