UN Palestinian motions still in balance following Netanyahu-Kerry meeting


Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with US Secretary of State John Kerry to discuss positions on various draft United Nations (UN) Security Council resolutions, with the progress of the initiatives still unclear.

Jordan has circulated a draft resolution on behalf of the Palestinian leadership, which would mandate Israel to withdraw from the West Bank within two years. However, France is spearheading something of a counterweight proposal which it hopes will be backed by the UK and Germany, which calls for the conclusion of an Israeli-Palestinian peace accord within two years.

Netanyahu met Kerry in Rome yesterday and although there are few details of the meeting, AFP reports that Washington officials oppose the Palestinian-backed Jordanian resolution but had not yet decided its position on the French-led proposal. The United States has previously used its veto to prevent the UN Security Council from adopting unilateral declarations to dictate terms and negotiations which it argues undermines the prospect of Israeli-Palestinian bilateral diplomacy.

Kerry held a late-night meeting with Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond in Paris alongside his French and German counterparts, to clarify aspects of the French-led draft resolution. Kerry will today meet in London with senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat and Arab League Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi.

Although Netanyahu was circumspect over the details of his conversation with Kerry, he commented, “I said that the attempts of the Palestinians and of several European countries to force conditions on Israel will only lead to a deterioration in the regional situation.” Netanyahu said he had told French Prime Minister Francois Hollande that “this move is a negative one and will backfire.” Netanyahu added, “Our expectation is that the United States will stand by its position for the past 47 years that a solution to the conflict will be achieved through negotiations.”

Meanwhile, states who are party to the Fourth Geneva Convention will meet tomorrow and will likely issue a declaration regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The European Parliament is expected to vote next week on whether to recognise a Palestinian state.