PLO official tips hat to UNSC members preparing to back resolution

Ashrawi said that the Palestinian Authority will continue to consult with UNSC member states to reach an agreeable text, to address the dismay it shares over the "unilateral" plan.

PLO executive committee member Hanan Ashrawi (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
PLO executive committee member Hanan Ashrawi
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
A top official in the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, thanked the international members of the United Nations Security Council for preparing to back the UN resolution against the United States Middle East peace plan – despite the fact that the Palestinian Authority had to pull the vote due to lack of support.
"The State of Palestine expresses its sincere gratitude to the vast majority of UN Security Council members that aligned themselves with international law and the principles of peace and justice, despite unprecedented acts of threats and intimidation by the United States administration," Ashrawi said.
"Their affirmation of the founding principles of international law, particularly their unequivocal rejection of American-sanctioned Israeli annexation, unilateral illegal actions and other grave breaches of international law reflect their unwavering commitment to the rules-based international order."
The PA delayed its vote on a Security Council resolution against the US plan, but the meeting continued as scheduled. The delay came amid US pressure to soften the language of the resolution towards America and Israel.
Ashrawi stated, however, that the Palestinian authority will continue to consult with UNSC member states to reach an agreeable text for the resolution to address the dismay the PA shares over the "unilateral" plan.
"We will not relent in our efforts to maintain the broadest international coalition in defense of the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination, justice and freedom on the solid foundations of international law. We are on a quest that will be embraced by the international community, but more importantly that our people will own and defend," she stated.
There has been speculation that the delay was a way of pulling the resolution because it lacked the requisite support of nine member states for passage, as several countries were expected to abstain. Even if it had passed, the US had been expected to veto the original text put forward last week by UNSC members Tunisia and Indonesia.
During his address, PA President Mahmoud Abbas unequivocally rejected the Trump administration’s peace plan in the UN Security Council on Tuesday.
“This plan should not be considered an international reference for negotiations. It is an Israeli-American preemptive plan to put an end to the question of Palestine,” he argued.
Abbas said of the plan allowing for a demilitarized Palestinian state on 70% of the West Bank: “This plan violates international legitimacy… It annuls the legitimacy of Palestinian rights, our right to self-determination, freedom and independence of our own state.”
In his address, Abbas referred to the part of the plan allowing Israel to annex 30% of the West Bank, saying: “It legitimized what is illegal, settlements and confiscation of land and annexation of Palestinian land.”
The plan is “the entrenchment of occupation and confiscation of occupying force by military regime… strengthening the apartheid regime,” he stated.
Abbas called the map in US President Donald Trump’s plan “like Swiss cheese,” referring to Israeli enclaves within the Palestinian state and vice-versa.
The PA president also lamented that according to the plan, “Jerusalem is no longer under the sovereignty of the State of Palestine,” although it never was, since such a state never existed.
“Jerusalem is occupied land. Who has the right to give this as a gift to one state or another? We came before you,” Abbas said.
Abbas also held up a series of maps commonly used by anti-Israel groups to claim Israel has stolen land, which falsely claims the Ottoman Empire and the British Mandate were a Palestinian state and that Israel is built on land that belonged to a state that did not exist.
As violence against Israelis roiled the West Bank and Jerusalem, Abbas commended those who “took to the streets by thousands and hundreds of thousands in the West Bank and Gaza, although it’s freezing outside.”
Abbas argued that the problem is not with Trump, but the “terrible advice” that he has received. He rejected the criticism of the US president's special adviser, Jared Kushner, who he called “the son-in-law,” for saying the Palestinians have missed opportunity after opportunity for peace.
The PA president also called for the Palestinians and Israelis to be allowed to reach peace on their own, rather than it being imposed from the outside.
"The Palestinian people remain determined and unwavering in their pursuit of justice. We will not absolve the United Nations of its responsibilities to defend its founding principles and their universal application. The Palestinian people will not 'go gently into that good night.' We will continue to seek the light," Ashrawi said, quoting poet Dylan Thomas.
Lahav Harkov and Zachary Keyser contributed to this report.