Nine countries are expected to vote in favour of an independent Palestinian state at the UN Security Council. The figure was announced by Nabil Shaath, a member of Fatah's Central Committee. Mr Shaath noted that the United States is expected to vote against the resolution and use its veto if a majority of the member states vote favourably for the Palestinians. In a statement, Shaath said that Washington must choose between the Zionist lobby and its interests in the Arab region when it votes at the Security Council.
However, he added that discussions on the resolution at the Security Council could last five or six days. Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority "will tackle any attempt to hinder the Palestinians' request to the UN".
In reference to the Mideast Quartet's suggestion and the French initiative on the resumption of negotiations, Shaath stressed that it is not possible to accept initiatives which don't include a freeze on Israeli settlement construction. He expressed the Palestinian side's readiness to consider proposals based on previous Quartet statements calling for the halt of settlement activity and negotiations based on pre-1967 borders.
Mr. Shaath also said that the next phase will witness clashes at several levels, as Fatah will not accept a "selective implementation" of the Oslo Accords. The PA, he said, "will reconsider trade with Israel, on the basis that Palestinian imports from Israel are currently worth $2.5 billion a year."