Thursday, January 1, 2015

Palestinians Fail to Muster Security Council Support for Israeli Withdrawal


UNITED NATIONS – The UN Security Council on Wednesday rejected a resolution demanding an end to Israel’s occupation of all Palestinian territory and withdrawal to pre-1967 borders by 2017.

The proposal, which Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas had outlined to the UN General Assembly in September, fell one vote short of the nine required for approval, making the United States’ threat to use its veto power redundant.

Months of negotiations were needed to draw up the resolution in an initiative that was initially backed by France but whose final draft ended up being defended only by the Arab bloc.

French UN ambassador François Delattre acknowledged that the text submitted to the Council was not the “ideal” one and that “We would have preferred a consensual approach.”

Nonetheless, France cast its vote in favor of the resolution, as did Argentina, Chad, Chile, Luxembourg, Russia and Jordan, the country that formally presented the proposal. Australia and the United States voted against it.

Abstaining were Britain, a country that usually coincides with the United States in Security Council decisions, Nigeria, which is sympathetic to the Palestinian cause, Lithuania, South Korea and Rwanda, whose delegate had indicated he would vote but in the end, did not.

In the aftermath of the ballot, Palestinian Ambassador to the United Nations Riyad Mansour accused the Security Council of being “incapable” of fulfilling its responsibilities and too “paralyzed” to support global efforts for peace in the Middle East.

Mansour added that given the “unsustainable and precarious” situation existing in the region, “Palestinian leaders must now analyze their next steps, and will be meeting tomorrow to decide them.”

In Jerusalem, meanwhile, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman expressed satisfaction with the result and said it “should teach the Palestinians that provocations and attempts to force Israel into unilateral processes will not get them anywhere – quite the opposite.”

Lieberman’s cabinet colleague, Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said the “Palestinian Authority (PA) continues to prove that it has no interest in direct negotiations, but rather provocations and continued acts aimed at delegitimizing Israel.”

“The PA way is to try to get what it can from Israel without giving a thing. We will not compromise the security and future of the state of Israel,” Yaalon added.


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