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Palestine resolution defeated in UN Security Council

The UN Security Council has failed to adopt a resolution to end Israel's occupation of the West Bank and enable Palestinian statehood. France and China voted for the resolution, while the US and Australia voted against.

The 15 members of the UN Security Council failed to pass a proposal to establish Palestine as a state and end Israel's occupation of the West Bank by 2017. The resolution received eight votes in its favor and two against.

France, China and Russia were among the countries which supported the text, while the United States and Australia voted against the resolution.

"It is a legitimate right of the Palestinian people which have opted for a path of peace," said Jordan's Ambassador Dina Kawar, speaking of the proposal to the Security Council members gathered on Tuesday. "The international community must attend to the severity of the situation in the Gaza Strip."

Palestine's proposal

On Monday, 22 Arab countries, represented by Jordan in the Security Council, agreed to support Palestine's proposal which sought a December 31, 2017 deadline to end Israel's occupation of the West Bank.

It also called for an independent state of Palestine to be established on the basis of the border that was drawn in 1967 before Israel captured the West Bank.

In order for the resolution to be adopted, nine countries would have to vote for the Palestinian proposal. However, a veto from the United States, a permanent member of the council, rendered the Palestinian proposal ineffective.

Rising tensions

Jeff Rathke, a spokesperson for the US State Department, told journalists on Monday that the Palestinian draft resolution was not constructive and failed to address "Israel's legitimate security needs." He also said that the proposal set "arbitrary deadlines for withdrawal from the West Bank."

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the Palestinian authorities were "seeking to impose on us a diktat that would undermine Israel's security, put its future in peril" and that Tel Aviv would "oppose conditions that endanger our future." Netanyahu said he expected the "responsible members" of the international community to oppose the resolution.

Concerns about rising tensions between Israel and Palestine have increased after peace talks failed in April this year, leading to renewed conflict this summer in which thousands of Palestinians were killed.

mg/cmk(AFP, AP)

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