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Arabs support Palestinian UN push for peace

December 30, 2014

Delegates of Arab countries in the United Nations have promised to back a Palestinian resolution concerning Israel. If the proposal is passed, Israel would be required to withdraw from Palestinian territories by 2017.

Symbolbild Palästina Israel Flaggen Konflikt
Image: picture-alliance/dpa

Arab countries on Monday endorsed a Palestinian proposal calling for an end to Israel's occupation of the Gaza strip by 2017.

Palestinian representatives were expected to submit a final draft resolution to the UN Security Council and push for a vote.

Dina Kawar, Jordan's ambassador to the UN, confirmed the news, saying all 22 Arab delegations had promised the Palestinian delegation their support and that their countries would consult on the "best time to cast the vote in the Security Council." Jordan is the only Arab state in the council, which has five permanent and 10 non-permanent members.

Palestinian ambassador to the UN, Riyad Mansour told reporters that a vote could take place on Tuesday or Wednesday.

US opposes deal

The Palestinian resolution proposes that Israel and the Palestinians return to the territorial boundaries that existed between them before Tel Aviv captured the West Bank in 1967. It calls for ending the occupation of the West Bank by 2017 and the establishment of an observer mission to monitor Israel's withdrawal.

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, would render the Palestinian proposal ineffective.

US department spokesperson Jeff Rathke 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 conflict this summer, in which thousands of Palestinians were killed.

mg/rc (AP, Reuters)

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