Palestinian President Abbas discusses new statehood resolution | News | DW | 04.01.2015
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Palestinian President Abbas discusses new statehood resolution

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has said he may resubmit a UN resolution demanding Israel end its West Bank occupation. New members joined the Security Council on January 1 - who Abbas hopes may be more sympathetic.

Abbas said on Sunday that he was discussing plans with Jordan to resubmit the bid for statehood through the United Nations Security council.

His comments came as Israeli leaders threatened to take further action against the Palestinians over their decision to sign up to the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. Israel has already frozen tax funds that it collects for Palestinians.

Undaunted, Abbas said he was considering a fresh resolution demanding that Israel end its occupation of the West Bank. The draft resolution was rejected last week, but a change of membership of the Security Council on January 1 means the Palestinian authority hopes it might force a different outcome.

"We didn't fail, the UN Security Council failed us. We'll go again to the Security Council, why not? Perhaps after a week," Abbas said in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

"We are studying it, and we will study this with our allies and especially Jordan ... to submit the resolution again, a third time or even a fourth time."

Jordan, which submitted the text to other Security Council members in December, remains a council member.

New membership, new hope

The United States and Australia voted against that resolution, while five others abstained. Palestinian officials expressed disappointment that Nigeria had abstained, despite a promise to vote in favor. As a result, the vote for the resolution fell one short of the necessary nine in favor, meaning the US was not forced to use its veto.

However, since January 1, five new non-permanent members have joined the rotating members - including Malaysia and Venezuela, which are both considered friendly to the Palestinians.

The US had rejected the text over Palestinian insistence that deadlines be set, insisting on a negotiated peace agreement rather than what it has called an "imposed timetable." In the past, Washington has consistently used its power of veto to block moves that it considers to be anti-Israeli.

Requiring that the US use its veto would at least represent a symbolic victory for the Palestinian Authority.

Israel hits back financially

After the previous resolution was rejected, Abbas submitted documents to join the Hague-based ICC, in a move opposed by both Israel and the US. Abbas also signed 19 other international agreements with world bodies. Washington and Tel Aviv say that unilateral approaches by the Palestinian Authority to international organizations run contrary to the idea of a negotiated peace.

Israel responded by suspending the transfer of tax revenues to Palestinians, which it collects through value added tax and levies on imports to the occupied territories. Israeli politicians have threatened further punitive sanctions against the Palestinian Authority, including its possible dissolution.

rc/bk (dpa, Reuters)