US confirms it won’t support Palestinian-led UN resolution

The US State Department yesterday confirmed that Washington will not support a controversial draft United Nations (UN) Security Council resolution submitted on Wednesday by Jordan on behalf of the Palestinian leadership, which would mandate an Israeli West Bank withdrawal.

The draft resolution calls for a 12-month deadline on peace negotiations and an Israeli West Bank withdrawal by 2017. The text outlines an accord based on the pre-1967 borders and security arrangements, with “Jerusalem as the shared capital of the two States which fulfills the legitimate aspirations of both parties and protects freedom of worship.” It adds that both parties should “abstain from any unilateral and illegal actions, including settlement activities.”

The United States, which has veto rights on UN Security Council resolutions, has long rejected all unilateral actions over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as they undermine the bilateral diplomatic process. Yesterday, State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki confirmed that “We have seen the draft. It is not something we would support.” She added, “We think others feel the same and are calling for further consultations. The Palestinians understand that.” Psaki also indicated that a vote on the draft resolution is far from imminent, saying “They [the Palestinians] support continued consultations and they are not pushing for a vote on this now.”

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned yesterday of the consequences of adopting and enacting the Palestinian-led resolution. He said that Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas “doesn’t understand that the result will be a Hamas takeover of Judea and Samaria [West Bank]” and pledged “we will not allow this to happen.”

Meanwhile, it remains unclear whether France will continue to work towards its own resolution, which it hopes will be supported by the UK and Germany. It is thought that the French initiative would call for the completion of a peace agreement within two years. However, former Israeli President Shimon Peres met French President Francois Hollande yesterday and told him that when it comes to a two-state solution, “you can’t impose it.”

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