Palestinians mull new bid for UN resolution on settlements
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Palestinians mull new bid for UN resolution on settlements

‘We have to open some doors to keep the hope alive and keep the two-state solution alive,’ says PA envoy

Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations Riyad Mansour speaks after the UN Security Council approved an anti-settlements resolution, December 23, 2016 (Frank Franklin II/AP)
Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations Riyad Mansour speaks after the UN Security Council approved an anti-settlements resolution, December 23, 2016 (Frank Franklin II/AP)

UNITED NATIONS — Palestinian officials are waging a new campaign at the United Nations to revive peace prospects, with the starting point possibly a Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements, the Palestinian envoy to the world body said Friday.

“We will not accept that the year 2016 is a year when we cannot do anything,” Ambassador Riyad Mansour told reporters.

“We have to open some doors to keep the hope alive and keep the two-state solution alive.”

He rejected the suggestion that prospects for progress were slim because of the US election campaign, which could make Washington more reluctant to put pressure on Israel to compromise.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (left) talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas during COP21, the United Nations Climate Change Conference, in Le Bourget, outside Paris, France, on November 30, 2015. (AFP/Martin Bureau/Pool)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (left) talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas during COP21, the United Nations Climate Change Conference, in Le Bourget, outside Paris, France, on November 30, 2015. (AFP/Martin Bureau/Pool)

Mansour said the success of the Iran nuclear deal and progress on the Syrian peace track highlighted the need for a “collective approach” to solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The ongoing violence on the ground is likely to worsen if nothing is done, he said, adding that the situation in August and September will be “much, much worse than what we see now.”

A wave of Palestinian knife, gun and car-ramming attacks since October 1 has killed at least 25 Israelis.

Over the same period, 159 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces, most while carrying out terror attacks and others during clashes and demonstrations.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas recently told Israeli reporters that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu snubbed appeals for a summit between the two leaders.

The Palestinian ambassador recently met with the envoys from the permanent Security Council members — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States — to discuss the way forward.

Mansour declined to give details of the talks, including whether the United States, which as Israel’s ally has blocked UN action, was open to a Security Council role in reviving the peace process.

The Palestinian envoy suggested that a resolution condemning Israel’s expansion of Israeli settlements could be a first step, but he stressed that there should be a broader plan.

This could include the creation of an international support group, the deployment of observers to trouble spots or the convening of an international peace conference.

“The signal has to come from the Security Council,” he said.

The United States used its veto in 2011 to block a UN resolution condemning Israeli settlements, and it has rejected a UN role in the peace process.

The council has not adopted a resolution on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process since 2009.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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