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Arab chief: Time for Security Council to step in to Mideast peace process

December 29, 2012|By Maher Abukhater
  • Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby talks reporters after his meeting with Palestinian officials in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Saturday.
Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby talks reporters after his… (Alaa Badarneh / European…)

RAMALLAH, West Bank – Frustrated by two decades of an unsuccessful peace process largely orchestrated by the United States, the Palestinians will take their case for statehood back to the U.N. Security Council, the Arab League chief said Saturday.

“We cannot continue with the same process of the last 20 years,” Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby said in Ramallah after meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. “This is just a waste of time.”

He said the Palestinians will seek the help of the Security Council in resolving their conflict with Israel, though not without first consulting with governments of influence such as the Obama administration.

“We need a new approach that aims to end the conflict, not to manage it,” he said on his first visit to the West Bank city of Ramallah.

The U.N. General Assembly last month voted to make the Palestinians a “nonmember observer state,” an enhanced status that acknowledged their desire for eventual statehood.

The measure, passed by a lopsided margin despite opposition from the U.S. and Israel, was followed by Israeli moves to approve new Jewish housing units on the West Bank and restrict the flow of tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority.

Elaraby also expressed regret that a pledge by Arab nations of $100 million a month to help the Palestinian Authority survive the Israeli revenue freeze had not yet been met.

He said he will ask the Arabs to meet their commitment, stressing that without the money the Palestinian Authority will not be able to function.

The Palestinian Authority had to borrow money from local banks to pay only a portion of the November salary for its employees. It says it does not have any more money to pay the rest of it.

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