JERUSALEM – The Obama administration has asked the Palestinian Authority to halt talks on a unity government with Hamas, according to a senior PA official.
The official said the White House fears a unity government with the Islamist group would make it difficult for the U.S. and European Union to support the unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state in the United Nations.
The information is the latest indicator Obama will not veto the controversial U.N. resolution, which would recognize a Palestinian state in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip as well as the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem, purportedly including the Temple Mount.
Like Jerusalem, the West Bank, or Judea and Samaria, is the site of biblical, historically Jewish communities.
According to the PA official, the Obama administration is concerned that support for a U.N. declaration of Palestinian statehood could have a negative impact on the president’s 2012 re-election bid.
The official said the White House has asked the PA to take their U.N. state request directly to the international body’s General Assembly, the only U.N. organ in which all member nations have equal representation, instead of to the Security Council, where the U.S. holds veto power.
Previously, PA officials stated the Obama administration would not veto a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for a Palestinian state.
In 2009, Ahmed Qurei, former PA prime minister and member of the Palestine Liberation Organization executive committee, told WND in an interview that the PA “reached an understanding with important elements within the administration” to possibly bring to the U.N. Security Council a resolution to unilaterally create a Palestinian state.
Asked to which “elements” he was referring, Qurei would only say they were from the Obama administration.
In a clear attempt to pave the way for a U.N. vote on the matter, the international body announced last week the PA possesses the capacity to function as a state.
“In six areas where the U.N. is most engaged, government functions are now sufficient for a functioning government of a state,” stated a U.N. report released last Tuesday.
The six areas were: “governance, rule of law and human rights; livelihoods; education and culture; health; social protection; and infrastructure and water.”
Still, the report cautioned, “The key constraints to the existence and successful functioning of the institutions of a potential state of Palestine arise primarily from the persistence of occupation and the unresolved issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
The reference to “occupation” is controversial, since the territories were never part of any previous Palestinian state and Israel is historically tied to the West Bank.