Arab League gets behind new Palestinian statehood bid

Thursday, July 26, 2012 |  Ryan Jones

The Arab League has thrown its weight behind a new proposal to unilaterally seek UN recognition of a sovereign and independent Palestinian state. That according to Palestinian Authority officials who spoke to The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday.

Last year the Palestinian leadership attempted a similar stunt, which is in fact a violation of its signed agreements to only establish statehood via a comprehensive peace treaty with Israel. But the move was stymied when the Palestinians failed to gain the support of at least nine UN Security Council member states.

This time, the Palestinians intend to go directly to the General Assembly, where the proposal is all but certain to win majority support. While the General Assembly can only recognize "non-member states of the UN," such a recognition would in effect mark the independence of a "State of Palestine."

Palestinian officials said the motion will likely be filed by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, the World Bank cautioned on Wednesday that establishing an independent Palestinian state at this time would be a mistake.

A report issued by the bank noted that the Palestinian economy is incapable of independence while it continues to rely so heavily on donor funds, and while its private sector remains only a minor part of overall GDP.

And outside of a bilateral peace agreement with Israel, neither of those problems are likely to change, the report concluded.

At present, a majority of the Palestinian workforces is employed by the Palestinian Authority, while unemployment numbers are through the roof. Additionally, the Palestinian-controlled territories still heavily rely on Israeli infrastructure for many basic services.

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