UNSC holds debate on Palestinians’ statehood bid

Israeli officials pleased with "dress rehearsal" of upcoming United Nations vote in September.

Prosor 311 (photo credit: Shahar Ezran)
Prosor 311
(photo credit: Shahar Ezran)
NEW YORK – Israeli officials on Wednesday said they were pleased with the outcome of the Mideast debate at the Security Council the day before, an event considered to be a dress rehearsal for the expected vote at the UN over recognition of Palestinian statehood slated for September.
“The foreign ministry and the Israeli mission to the UN is working tirelessly and preparing for all the possible outcomes [at the expected vote in September],” an official at the Israeli mission to the UN said. “We delivered the unilateral message that the only way to peace is through negotiations. There are no shortcuts.”
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The Palestinian Authority envoy to the United Nations Riyad Mansour told the Security Council on Tuesday that Palestinians were ready to seek statehood recognition with Jerusalem as its capital.
“With international political and financial support this plan has reached its objectives as acknowledged by the international community,” he said. “We have completed our responsibilities and are ready to govern ourselves.” He added: “We cannot keep waiting for Israel to negotiate with good faith.”
Israeli Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor, speaking after Mansour, told the Security Council that security and recognition of Israel as a Jewish State are the two linchpin issues that must be acknowledged by Palestinians in order to reach a final agreement and two-state solution.
Prosor said that he supported a two-state solution, with a Palestinian state residing “alongside and not instead of the Jewish state.” That Palestinian state, the ambassador added, must be demilitarized and supported by a strong education system, halting teachings of hatred and anti- Israeli sentiment.
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Click for full Jpost coverage
The Israeli ambassador rejected any unilateral move by the Palestinians, including seeking state recognition at the UN General Assembly, and dismissed such efforts as an attempt to bypass negotiations with Israel. Prosor said such efforts would be futile for Palestinians, saying only bilateral talks presented a solution.
“To the Palestinians I also issue a call,” Prosor said. “Take Israel’s outstretched hand. Seize the opportunities before us to advance down the real road toward peace – a road of solutions not resolutions; dialogue not monologue; and direct negotiations not unilateral declarations.” Whether the Palestinians bring forward a resolution in the General Assembly or by invoking the ‘Uniting for Peace’ resolution it is clear that the Palestinians are not united and are far from united for peace,” Prosor said.
The Israeli ambassador added, “There is much uncertainty about the future Palestinian government: its acceptance of the Quartet conditions, the peace process, control of its security forces, and many other questions. It will take at least a year until after the Palestinian elections next year before it is clear what Palestinian unity really means.”
In a press conference held after the debate the Palestinian Authority official responded to Prosor by saying he was representing all Palestinians, including those in the Hamas-controlled territory of Gaza.
“I am talking on behalf of all Palestinian people including in Gaza,” Mansour said. “The question about the decision, the answer will be from our people on the street. They are united in their call for ending the occupation."