UN acknowledges receipt of Palestinian letters

palestine mehmodThe United Nations says it has received letters from Palestinians to join 13 international conventions and treaties.

On Wednesday, UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq confirmed the delivery of the applications to Robert Serry, the UN’s Middle East envoy, who is expected to deliver the originals to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday.

Once the applications have officially been received at the UN headquarters, “we will be reviewing them to consider the appropriate next steps,” Haq added.

The letters include the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and conventions against torture, corruption and the prevention of genocide.

The Palestinian UN Ambassador Riyad Mansour said the membership in the treaties would come into effect “30 days after the secretary general receives the letter of accession.”

The Palestinian officials also delivered a letter asking to become a party to the Geneva Conventions to a Swiss representative, and a letter to join The Hague Convention (IV) respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land to a representative of the Netherlands.

Acting Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas signed the 15 requests during a televised ceremony on Tuesday, drawing the ire of Israel.

The Palestinians had agreed to stop seeking membership of international bodies and pursuing legal action against Israel during the nine months of talks, launched in July 2013. Israel, in return, had agreed to free 104 Palestinian inmates in four groups.

Abbas said he made the decision because Israelis failed to keep their promise as the Israeli regime has refused to release the final batch of 26 prisoners. The group was due to be freed by the end of March.

Israel has been pushing to secure an agreement for the extension of the talks beyond their April 29 deadline before the Palestinian detainees are released.

The Palestinians have also threatened to resume their action through international courts and the UN over Israel’s illegal settlement expansion in the occupied Palestinian lands.

Earlier on Tuesday, Tel Aviv issued tenders for 708 settlement units in the Israeli settlement of Gilo in illegally annexed East al-Quds (Jerusalem) in order to encourage Israelis to build over 3,000 settler units in East al-Quds and elsewhere in the occupied West Bank in the first quarter of 2014.

The last round of negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli regime broke down in 2010 after Tel Aviv refused to halt its settlement construction in the occupied West Bank.

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