Russia backs New Zealand’s UN bid to restart Israel-Palestinian talks
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Russia backs New Zealand’s UN bid to restart Israel-Palestinian talks

Two sides are less enthusiastic aboutr draft resolution, with Jerusalem calling it ‘destructive’ and PA saying it’s not tough enough

Members of the Security Council vote at United Nations headquarters in New York, July 20, 2015. (AP/Seth Wenig, File)
Members of the Security Council vote at United Nations headquarters in New York, July 20, 2015. (AP/Seth Wenig, File)

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Russia said Friday that New Zealand should move forward with a draft UN resolution aimed at reviving long-stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, but Israel says it’s “destructive” and the Palestinians say it’s not tough enough.

The deeply divided Security Council has not adopted a resolution on the decades-old conflict in six years.

Russia’s UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said Moscow has always maintained that the UN’s most powerful body “should get closer involved.”

“I think we should seriously look at it,” he told reporters. “I don’t see anything controversial about that text.”

The New Zealand draft resolution notes “with alarm the escalating cycle of violence” between Israel and the Palestinians. It declares that a two-state solution, achieved through direct negotiations, is the only path to peace, and it calls on both parties, backed by key international players, to take steps to end violence and incitement and rebuild trust.

The draft further calls on both Israel and the Palestinians to refrain from “provocative acts” including acts that threaten the status quo of holy sites in Jerusalem which have sparked recent clashes. It also calls on the Palestinians to refrain from referring “a situation” to the International Criminal Court.

Israel’s UN Ambassador Danny Danon was very dismissive, calling the proposed resolution “destructive instead of being constructive.” He said “the only way to achieve peace is through direct talks between the parties,” which Israel has called for.

Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon addresses the UN Security Council, October 22, 2015. (Permanent Mission of Israel to the UN)
Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon addresses the UN Security Council, October 22, 2015. (Permanent Mission of Israel to the UN)

Palestinian Ambassador Riyad Mansour supported New Zealand’s efforts but said the resolution doesn’t address the need of Palestinian civilians for international protection and is “not strong enough to stop Israel … from the continuous aggression it is waging against the Palestinian civilian population.”

The ICC prosecutor is conducting a preliminary investigation of alleged war crimes during last year’s Gaza conflict and Mansour said the Security Council should not interfere with the court.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press.

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