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What Does the Palestinian Plan for Statehood Mean for the Peace Process?

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Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas announced this week that as long as illegal settlement building continues they would not negotiate with Israel and instead consider going directly to the United Nations and other international bodies for recognition of an independent Palestinian state in the territories occupied by Israel since 1967 (West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem). Harshly criticized by the Israeli government, the newly-announced Palestinian strategy comes in the wake of the most recent round of negotiations, which ground to a halt as Israel refused to extend its partial moratorium on illegal settlement building.

Ambassador Maen Areikat is the PLO Representative to the United States in Washington D.C. He previously served for eleven years at the Negotiations Affairs Department (NAD) of the PLO in Ramallah, most recently as its Deputy Head and Coordinator-General (2008-2009).

Omar Dajani (Moderator) is a former Palestinian negotiator and former Political Advisor to UN Special Coordinator Terje Roed-Larsen. Dajani is a law professor at McGeorge School of Law at the University of the Pacific.