Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riad Malki said that PA President Mahmoud Abbas has decided not to formally apply for statehood recognition at the United Nations General Assembly session in September, according to Israeli media reports.
Instead, Malki said, Abbas will informally appeal for recognition in his General Assembly speech.
Last year, Abbas caused an international uproar and drew condemnation from the U.S., Israel and some European states over a unilateral bid to have the UN admit Palestine (West Bank and Gaza) as a member state. Ultimately, Abbas’s initiative failed, as he was unable to garner the necessary votes in the UN Security Council.
The PA leaders concession this year “shows just how thoroughly Israel’s supposedly incompetent government defeated [the PA] in 2011,” JNS.org columnist Jonathan Tobin wrote for Commentary.
Abbas’s move “may also signify a belief on [the Palestinians’] part that they would do better to keep quiet until President Obama is safely re-elected rather than cause trouble that would only worsen their situation during the fall campaign,” Tobin added.