Israel’s Foreign Ministry has launched a global diplomatic campaign to thwart a Palestinian move to seek statehood recognition at the United Nations in September.
The ministry has also barred its ambassadors around the world from taking time off in September, Israeli daily Ha’aretz reported on Saturday.
Over the past week, the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s Director General Rafael Barak as well as some ministerial officials sent out classified cables outlining the ploy to the embassies.
"The goal we have set is to have the maximum number of countries oppose the process of having the UN recognize a Palestinian state," Barak wrote to Israel’s ambassadors in his cable, which was sent on June 2.
"The primary argument is that by pursuing this process in the UN, the Palestinians are trying to achieve their aims in a manner other than negotiations with Israel, and this violates the principle that the only route to resolving the conflict is through bilateral negotiations."
Israeli diplomats were demanded to lobby the highest possible officials in their respective countries and muster their support to vote against the recognition of a Palestinian state.
Also in a bid to sway public opinion, the ambassadors were tasked to fuel media hype through placing articles in international press.
Palestinians have been campaigning to win UN recognition for a state that encompasses the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and illegally annexed East al-Quds (Jerusalem) — the territories Israel captured in the Six-Day War of 1967.
Over 100 countries have endorsed the Palestinians’ 1988 declaration of independent statehood.
However, Israel’s main ally, the United States, has promised to veto any vote for the recognition of Palestinian statehood.