A vote in the United Nations Security Council headquarters in New York.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Israel reacted with a shrug on Thursday to a report that the Palestinian Authority has agreed to delay by two months its plan to seek a UN Security Council resolution calling for an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines within three years.
The London-based pan-Arab daily Asharq Alawsat quoted Palestinian sources in Ramallah as saying that the PA leadership would give US Secretary of State John Kerry a two-month window to present his own plan for peace.
The PA leadership was nevertheless determined to proceed with the Security Council bid, the sources said.
The PA leadership was prepared to return to the negotiations with Israel, but not according to “old mechanisms,” the sources told the newspaper.
The Palestinians are conditioning the resumption of the talks on Israel presenting a map with a Palestinian state’s borders and a full cessation of settlement construction during the talks, according to the report.
Israel Radio, however, quoted PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat as denying a Palestinian agreement to wait two months before going to the Security Council. The report quoted Erekat as saying that the US had hinted that it would veto such a resolution in the Security Council, but that if Washington did so, the Palestinians would end their security cooperation with Israel and apply for membership in various international organizations.
One reason why the Palestinians may want to wait before going to the UN Security Council is that the 15-member body is expected to be more disposed to their cause in January than it is now, when Venezuela, Malaysia, Angola, New Zealand and Spain replace Argentina, South Korea, Rwanda, Australia and Luxembourg in the forum.
One Israeli official, meanwhile, said Jerusalem would not respond to the reports of a two-month delay, because it does not know whether they were true.
Israel, he said, “has sent messages to the relevant parties that unilateral Palestinian actions at the UN and in UN bodies will only serve to further deteriorate the situation. People should be aware of that.”