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Palestinian Government Will Not Back Down From U.N. Resolution

Dr. Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer of Palestine to the U.N., says Israel needs to move "seriously" in the direction of a two-state solution.
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The Palestinian Authority’s Permanent Observer to the United Nations said his government’s leadership will continue to go through the international body to seek resolution to ongoing issues with Israel. Dr. Riyad Mansour said the Palestinian government is looking to end both Israel’s construction of settlements and obstacles toward a two-state solution.

“If they want to have serious negotiation with us to have two-state solution, they have to negotiate with us the end of occupation,” Mansour told Chuck Todd on "Meet the Press" Sunday. "With regard to the Security Council, the first step should be to adopt resolution on the parameters to defend a two-state solution and then after that we should have another resolution from Israel to stop this illegal activity of settlement activities, because we cannot have a two-state solution when we have 600,000 settlers," he continued.

The United Nations upgraded the Palestinian Authority’s status to “non-member observer state” in November 2012, despite votes against the measure by the United States and Israel. In addition, the Palestinian Authority has been seeking membership in the International Criminal Court, a world judicial body that seeks to prosecute war crimes, genocides and other atrocities of a global nature. Palestinian leadership is seeking the prosecution of Israeli officials for settlement construction and attacks during last year's conflict in Gaza.

"We are seeking peaceful, legal methods to seek accountability, to address these issues, and to fight for the rights for the causes of the Palestinian people," Mansour said. "So those who are punishing us for doing so, what message are they giving us?"

Mansour refused to denounce Hamas, which is a part of the Palestinian unity government and is also considered a terrorist organization by the United States. He went on to accuse Israeli leaders of failing to work with the unity government.

"When we were divided, they did not want to negotiate with us. When we are united, they don't want to negotiate with us," he said.

— Daniel Cooney