A vote in the United Nations Security Council headquarters in New York.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The PA leadership is planning to ask the UN Security Council to issue a resolution requiring Israel to withdraw to the pre-1967 lines in the coming weeks, PLO Secretary- General Yasser Abed Rabbo said Thursday.
Abed Rabbo told reporters in Ramallah that the Palestinian Authority’s move does not contradict US calls for the resumption of the peace talks with Israel.
The Palestinians would approach the Security Council at the end of October or in the next few weeks, he said.
“We’re not embarking on an adventure,” Abed Rabbo said. “The real adventure is to remain with the status quo.
Until now we have guaranteed the backing of seven members of the Security Council.”
China and Russia were among the Security Council members that would vote in favor of the plan, according to Abed Rabbo, which envisages the establishment of an independent Palestinian state within three years.
The PLO official predicted that France and Britain would either abstain or support the Palestinian motion during the vote.
“It all depends on how much pressure is exerted on these two countries,” Abed Rabbo said. “There are positive developments in Britain, where public opinion is in favor of the Palestinian cause.”
The US Administration was seeking to cancel or delay the Palestinians’ intention to approach the Security Council, he said.
“The Palestinian leadership has taken a final decision and we will go to the Security Council soon.”
The American pressure was aimed at avoiding a situation where Washington would be forced to veto the Palestinian motion at the Security Council, Abed Rabbo said.
“If the Americans veto or abort the motion, this would not be the end of the process,” he added. “We will have another chance to go to the Security Council in January 2015. Do the Americans have a realistic alternative to Israeli intransigence and settlements? We will continue our political battle and won’t be deterred by Israeli statements.”
Another PLO official, Hanna Amireh, also confirmed that the US was exerting pressure on the Palestinians to call off or postpone the Security Council motion.
He said the seven countries that would support the Palestinian move are China, Russia, Jordan, Chile, Argentina, Chad and Nigeria.
In response to the expected Palestinian move, one Israeli government official said no Israeli government will agree to borders with a future Palestinian state without knowing first what will emerge on the other side of the frontier.
“Will the Palestinian state recognize the Jewish state,” He asked. “Will it be effectively demilitarized? Will it look like Gaza? Syria?” The official said Palestinian claims to have already wrapped up commitments from seven of the Security Council’s 15 states should be taken with a dose of skepticism, since the Palestinians made similar claims three years ago before eventually failing to garner the necessary votes in the Security Council to become a UN member state.
Nine votes will be needed for the resolution to pass. The US – along with Britain, France, China and Russia – have veto power on the council.
Israel has not yet actively began lobbying against the move, because no final resolution has been submitted, the official said. Jerusalem, however, can be expected to lobby heavily once the Palestinians formally present their resolution to the body.