Palestinians will seek membership of international bodies

RAMALLAH - The PLO's central council on Sunday adopted a plan to pursue attempts to join 60 United Nations bodies and international agreements, according to a statement from the governing body of the Palestine Liberation Organisation.

The council, under the auspices of president Mahmud Abbas, "affirms the need for the Palestinian leadership to continue membership of UN agencies and international conventions, under the Palestinian plan that was adopted", the Palestine People's Party secretary general Bassam al-Salhi said in a statement.

The council also said Israel was to blame for failed international and US efforts to find a negotiated settlement to the Middle East conflict.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suspended faltering peace talks with the Palestinians last week after the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) and Hamas agreed to work together to form a unity government, in a move to end years of bitter political rivalry.

The struggling peace talks took a nose dive at the end of March when Israel reneged on a pledge to release two dozen Palestinian prisoners and the Palestinians responded by signing 15 international treaties in a step denounced by Israel.