The Palestinian Authority has turned down a request from the US to refrain from seeking a UN Security Council resolution condemning settlements, Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat declared on Sunday.
The PA has announced that it would present to the council a draft resolution that condemns settlements as illegal.RELATED:
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The US administration has been pressing the PA to refrain from going to the Security Council out of fear that such a move would have a negative impact on efforts to revive the stalled peace talks.
“The Americans don’t want us to present anything to the Security Council,” Erekat said. “But we made it clear to them that, for us, the Security Council was a gate to international legitimacy.”
The PA is determined to seek the resolution from the Security Council in spite of Washington’s opposition, Erekat stressed in a radio interview.
The PA envoy to the UN, Riad Mansour, is expected to hold consultations on Monday with other representatives in New York to set a date for presenting the draft resolution to the council, he added.
Erekat said that the PA was holding discussions with several countries, including the US, about the proposed draft resolution.
“We don’t want this resolution to be met with a veto by the US or any other party,” he said. “We will continue trying [to seek a UN Security Council resolution] even if there is a veto.”
Erekat reiterated the PA’s refusal to make any “undignified” concessions, holding the Israeli government fully responsible for the collapse of the peace talks.
“The Israeli government has chosen settlements over peace,” he claimed. “They bear responsibility for the failure of the peace process; this policy will lead to more violence, chaos, extremism and bloodshed.”
He said that the US administration should stop treating Israel as a state that is above the law and back international legitimacy instead of threatening to use the veto at the Security Council.
PA negotiator Nabil Sha’ath reaffirmed the PA’s refusal to resume the peace talks unless Israel halted all construction in the settlements and east Jerusalem.
He said that in light of the absence of peace talks and the armed struggle option, the Palestinians were now facing four options: a nonviolent popular struggle, seeking international recognition of a Palestinian state, achieving national unity and building state institutions.
Sha’ath predicted that within three months all 34 Latin American
countries would recognize a Palestinian state along the pre- 1967
borders, with east Jerusalem as its capital.
“We don’t intend to negotiate about the land, but about drawing the
border,” he said. “We won’t give up any part of the Palestinian
territories, especially Jerusalem.”