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Arabs discuss United Nations Palestine resolution

Netanyahu slams PA over statehood bid, calls for ‘responsible’ countries to oppose upcoming Security Council vote

The UN Security Council (AP/Jason DeCrow)
The UN Security Council (AP/Jason DeCrow)

UNITED NATIONS — Arab ambassadors met Monday to discuss Palestinian amendments to a UN resolution that would call for an end to Israel’s presence in the West Bank within three years, a move vehemently opposed by Israel.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said the revised resolution would be submitted Monday and voted upon on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that, if the Security Council doesn’t reject the resolution, “we will.”

The Palestinian Authority is “seeking to impose on us a diktat that would undermine Israel’s security, put its future in peril,” Netanyahu said in a statement. “Israel will oppose conditions that endanger our future.”

Jordan’s UN Ambassador Dina Kawar, the Arab representative on the Security Council, told reporters as she headed into Monday’s closed-door meeting that Jordan would have liked more consultations among the 15 council members, but respects “very much” that the Palestinian situation is difficult.

“We will be doing what the Palestinians want and in conformity with the Arab League,” she said.

The Security Council is almost certain to reject a resolution with a timetable for an Israeli pullout. Even if the resolution musters the minimum nine required “yes” votes, the United States, Israel’s closest ally, will likely veto it. The US insists there must be a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Palestinian representative Riyad Mansour addressing journalists after a UN Security Council meeting, May 2014. (photo credit: UN/Devra Berkowitz)
Palestinian representative Riyad Mansour addressing journalists after a UN Security Council meeting, May 2014. (photo credit: UN/Devra Berkowitz)

Netanyahu said Israel expects “the international community — at least the responsible members of that community — to oppose vigorously this UN diktat, this UN Security Council resolution because what we need always is direct negotiations and not imposed conditions.”

Palestinian UN Ambassador Riyad Mansour has said the Palestinians can’t return “to the same cycle of failed negotiations,” which he says Israel uses to entrench its occupation. He has urged international support for the resolution setting a deadline for a complete Israeli withdrawal.

The Palestinians circulated a draft on October 1 asking the council to set a deadline of November 2016 for an Israeli withdrawal from all Palestinian territory occupied since 1967. France had been working for a UN resolution aimed at restarting Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, setting a two-year deadline for success.

Palestinian official Saeb Erekat said Sunday that the amended resolution calls for ending the Israeli occupation within three years and establishing a Palestinian independent state within the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital. He said it also calls for solving the problem of Palestinian refugees in accordance with UN resolutions and the release of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. 

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