Ramallah to push UN bid Wednesday, will maintain security ties
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Ramallah to push UN bid Wednesday, will maintain security ties

PLO official says Security Council resolution for Israeli withdrawal from West Bank to go forward in coming days

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during a meeting of the Palestinian leadership in the West Bank city of Ramallah, on December 14, 2014. (photo credit: AFP/Abbas Momani)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during a meeting of the Palestinian leadership in the West Bank city of Ramallah, on December 14, 2014. (photo credit: AFP/Abbas Momani)

The Palestinians are to present a draft resolution to the United Nations Security Council Wednesday that would set a two-year deadline for Israel to withdraw from the West Bank and East Jerusalem, an official said.

The Palestinian leadership also decided to continue the security coordination with Israel for the time being, the Palestinian Ma’an News Agency reported, backtracking on earlier threats to dissolve security ties in the wake of the death of a senior PA official last week.

“The Palestinian leadership took a decision to go to the Security Council next Wednesday to vote on their project to end the occupation,” senior Palestine Liberation Organization member Wassel Abu Yussef told AFP Sunday after a Palestinian leadership meeting in Ramallah.

Earlier Sunday, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said the draft resolution would be presented to the Security Council on Monday.

Following the death of senior Fatah official Ziad Abu Ein last Wednesday after clashing with Israel Defense Forces soldiers, former Preventive Security Force head Jibril Rajoub said the PA had no choice but to respond, given that Israel had “crossed a red line.”

The Foreign Ministry declined to comment on the statehood bid ahead of Monday’s meeting in Rome between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US Secretary of State John Kerry.

Kerry arrived in Italy Sunday amid a European-led drive to push moves towards Palestinian statehood, with US officials saying he sought to learn more about the European position.

After Netanyahu called snap elections for March, some Europeans have pointed to a narrow window of opportunity to push a Palestinian resolution at the Security Council.

In the past, the United States has consistently used its UN veto power to block moves it sees as anti-Israel, but US officials said they drew a distinction between a unilateral step, and an effort to draw up a multilateral resolution at the UN Security Council, which would have the backing of many nations.

Kerry will fly to London on Tuesday to meet Erekat and Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi.

Jordan last month circulated a draft Palestinian text setting November 2016 as a deadline for the end of the Israeli occupation.

But the text ran into opposition from the United States, because it set a two-year timetable for the withdrawal of the Israeli army from the West Bank.

Netanyahu on Sunday rejected all talk of withdrawing from East Jerusalem and the West Bank within two years.

Pulling out now would bring “Islamic extremists to the suburbs of Tel Aviv and to the heart of Jerusalem,” he said.

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