UN draft imposes deadline for Israeli occupation -UPDATED

Jordan submits a Security Council draft resolution sets a November 2016 deadline for Israel to withdraw from territories it has occupied since 1967. An alternative French proposal calling for a resumption of peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians within two years is also being discussed.

UN draft imposes deadline for Israeli occupation -UPDATED

World Bulletin/News Desk

Jordan has filed a draft UN Security Council resolution in favor of setting a deadline for Israel to end its occupation of Palestinian land by the end of 2017.

The text was formally submitted to the council on Wednesday night following a lengthy Arab League meeting at the ambassadorial level at UN headquarters.

The draft resolution seeks "a just, lasting and comprehensive peaceful solution that brings an end to the Israeli occupation since 1967." 

It fixes the end of 2017 as the deadline for Israeli security forces to fully withdraw from the occupied territories.

The submission of a draft resolution means it could be put to a vote as soon as 24 hours later, but it does not guarantee it will come to a vote. In the past, two Arab-backed resolutions – one about the Gaza conflict and another on Israeli settlements deemed illegal – were never put to a vote as it was clear that they would not get the required support to come into force.

If put to a vote, the motion requires a “yes” vote from at least nine of the 15 council members to pass, but it can be vetoed by any of the five permanent members, including the U.S., a staunch ally of Israel.

The drafted text proposes "Jerusalem as the shared capital of the two states" and "Palestine as a full Member State of the United Nations."

It also urges both parties "to abstain from any unilateral and illegal actions, including settlement activities, that could undermine the viability of a two-state solution," referring to the UN-proposed solution that calls for an independent state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel.

An alternative Security Council proposal, which calls for a resumption of peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians within two years, is also being discussed.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is said to be determined to seek support for the French proposal to present a compromise resolution at the Security Council. This resolution would push towards restarting negotiations and promoting the two-state solution without setting any deadline for Israeli withdrawal from the occupied Palestinian territories.

U.S.-brokered direct Palestinian-Israeli talks came to a halt in April when Israel refused to release a group of Palestinian prisoners despite earlier pledges to do so.

Israel seeks U.S. veto at U.N.

Meanwhile, Israel's foreign minister described as a gimmick the Palestinian-proposed U.N. Security Council draft resolution.

"Certainly this will not hasten an agreement because without Israel's consent, nothing will change," Avigdor Lieberman said in a statement.

Lieberman said the unilateral move at the United Nations, which followed the collapse in April of U.S.-brokered talks on Palestinian statehood, would only deepen the decades-old conflict.

"It would be better if the Security Council dealt with matters truly important to the citizens of the world, such as the murderous attacks this week in Australia and Pakistan, or discuss events in Syria and Libya, and not waste time on the Palestinian's gimmicks," he said.

On Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Kerry in Rome in a bid to ensure American support in blocking any UN move setting a deadline for Israel to end its occupation of the Palestinian territories.

American sources said that Kerry had stopped short of accepting Israel’s demand for a U.S. veto of the resolution, telling Netanyahu that Washington would continue to attempt mediation in the Middle East conflict.

While Lieberman's comments were dismissive of the resolution, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has voiced alarm over international pressure on Israel to withdraw from occupied territory, saying militants would then move in.

UN chief urges efforts for direct Israel-Palestine talks

The UN Secretary-General said Wednesday that he welcomes any Security Council action to advance the Israeli-Palestinian peace process but it would be up to the two parties to resolve the pending issues.

"Following this year’s hostilities in Gaza, the leaders of Israel and Palestine have a responsibility to step back from the brink, ease the current tensions and salvage a two-state solution that is looking ever more remote," Ban Ki-moon told UN reporters in his traditional year-end address.

When asked about two planned Security Council proposals that seeks to bring an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands, he said it was more important for both sides to sit at the negotiation table to address the conflict.

"I have been urging, and I'm urging again, that [Israel and Palestine] should discuss this matter so they can realize a two-state solution, two-state vision where Israeli and Palestinian people can live side by side in peace and security," Ban said, referring to the UN-proposed solution that calls for two states for two peoples with an independent state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel.

The roots of the Israel-Palestine conflict date to 1917, when the British government, in the now-famous "Balfour Declaration," called for "the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people."

Israel occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the holy city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the self-proclaimed Jewish state – a move never recognized by the international community.

Palestinians want a state of their own in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, with East Jerusalem, currently occupied by Israel, as its capital.

 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 18 Aralık 2014, 11:26
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