Palestinians to press UN on Israeli occupation

Palestinians to press UN on Israeli occupation
Top US diplomat John Kerry tells chief Palestinian negotiator that US would veto any draft resolution calling for end to occupation, AFP news agency reports.
2 min read
16 December, 2014
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is pushing forward with a proposed UN resolution (Anadolu)

Palestinian negotiators have been told the US would veto any draft UN resolution that called for the end of Israeli occupation, a Palestinian official has told the AFP news agency.

The exchange was reported by the agency on Tuesday after a meeting in London between the US secretary of state, John Kerry and chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat.

The official told AFP that Palestinian officials would submit the draft resolution to the UN security council on Wednesday regardless. The draft calls for the end of Israeli occupation within two years.

The US is one of five permanent members of the UN security council who have the power to veto resolutions.

If the US uses it veto, Erakat told Kerry, the Palestinians would apply to join all international organisations and conventions, including the International Criminal Court, a move firmly opposed by Washington.

The official said the talks had been "long and difficult but achieved results".

'Only option left'

A UN resolution was the "only option left to the Palestinian leadership," said Abdel Majid Sweilem, a Palestinian political analyst.

A watered-down resolution that France is drafting would set a two-year timetable for concluding a peace treaty, with no mention of the withdrawal of Israeli forces.

Even this is regarded as unacceptable by the Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who met Kerry late on Monday in Rome.

"Attempts of the Palestinians and of several European countries to force conditions on Israel will only lead to a deterioration in the regional situation and will endanger Israel," he said in a statement after the meeting.

"Therefore, we will strongly oppose this."

This leaves Kerry attempting to persuade the Palestinians to not push ahead with the draft resolution, which they have said could be submitted possibly as early as Wednesday.

With the US undecided over whether to back the proposed French resolution or not, Kerry has been attempting to gauge European positions.

Palestinian killed in Qalandiya

Meanwhile, in the Qalandiya refugee camp, a Palestinian man was killed during an Israeli military raid early on Tuesday.

Medical sources told al-Araby al-Jadeed that Mahmoud Abdullah Adwan, 21, was struck in the head with a bullet, while on the roof of his house.

Another man was detained during the raid north of Jerusalem.