Ahmed, a former PA minister and member of the Fatah Central Committee,
said the Abbas regime expected the United States to veto the Palestinian
request. But he said the PA would proceed with the request in an attempt to
mobilize support for eventual recognition of statehood.
"They, including President Barack Obama, threatened us personally," Al
Ahmed told the London-based daily Al Hayat on July 25. "But we did not turn
back. We went to the UN and that was a blow to the U.S. administration."
Congress has been mulling legislation that would link U.S. aid to the PA
to a commitment not to seek statehood at the UN or form a government with
Hamas. The bill was approved by the House Appropriations Subcommittee for
Foreign Operations on July 27 and would include $513 million in aid for the
PA in fiscal 2012.
Officials said the PA was hoping that the General Assembly would approve
a request to grant observer status to "the state of Palestine." Currently,
only the Palestine Liberation Organization has observer status at the
assembly from a vote in 1975.
Al Ahmed said the PA and Fatah were hoping that the UN would designate
the West Bank an occupied country rather than territory. He said China has
already pledged to support the PA drive in the General Assembly.
"There is a difference between an occupied country and the disputed
territories, as some believe," Al Ahmed said.
Al Ahmed did not rule out PA support for another war against Israel. He
said Abbas has been encouraging what Al Ahmed turned "popular resistance."
"Abu Mazen [Abbas] is not against the resistance, does not deny the
right of the Palestinian people to resistance in all forms, but according to
timing and circumstances," Al Ahmed said.