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Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera that the Palestinian Authority (PA) will declare itself a sovereign state next year.
“In 2011, we will celebrate 66 years of the United Nations and the United Nations will celebrate the birth of our nation,” Mr. Fayyad said, also adding that, “The deadline is next summer, when the Israeli occupation of the West Bank must end” (The Jerusalem Post).
U.S.-led Israeli-Palestinian negotiation efforts have reached a deadlock due to ongoing Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Relying upon international law, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that all settlement activity in occupied territory is illegal, according to Time magazine.
Due to the bilateral talks losing momentum, Palestinian leaders are contemplating whether they should approach the UN Security Council with their grievances.
The Jerusalem Post reported that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has proposed the creation of a Palestinian state within temporary borders for a period of 10 years. About 40 percent of the West Bank will stay under Israel’s control. Other burning issues will be decided upon in future negotiations.
“If it is true that Israel is interested in peace, it must block the settlers,” Prime Minister Fayyad stressed, adding that he will grant Israel “one more year of grace…but these colonies can no longer be there. They are illegal everywhere; here and Jerusalem” (ibid.).