Tags: ML | Israel | Palestinians

Palestinians Seek End-of-Occupation Vote This Week

Monday, 15 Dec 2014 06:24 AM

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will push for a U.N. Security Council vote this week on a resolution setting a November 2016 deadline for ending the Israeli occupation, officials said Monday.

Such a move could set the stage for a Security Council clash over the Jordanian-backed resolution or over a second proposal by France, which seeks a two-year deadline for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations on the terms of Palestinian statehood.

U.S. officials say Secretary of State John Kerry does not consider either of the drafts acceptable. Kerry is holding separate meetings on the issue with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Rome on Monday and with two top Abbas aides in London on Tuesday.

Abbas consulted Sunday with members of his Fatah movement and the Palestine Liberation Organization.

Participants decided to push for a vote Wednesday on the Jordanian proposal, PLO official Wasel Abu Yousef said. However, they set another meeting for Tuesday night, suggesting that decision might change.

Another Palestinian official said the Jordanian proposal only has the support of seven members of the 15-member council, meaning it would be defeated without triggering a U.S. veto. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss diplomacy with journalists.

The Palestinian push at the Security Council is largely symbolic. Abbas is under pressure after U.S.-led talks between Israel and the Palestinians collapsed in the spring.

The Palestinians seek a state in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem, lands Israel captured in 1967. The U.N. General Assembly recognized such a state as an observer in 2012. Parliaments of several European countries have in recent weeks recommended to their governments to recognize a state.

Netanyahu said an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank could pave the way for a Hamas takeover there, as it did in Gaza after Israel's 2005 pullout.

"We will not let them do this, and I will say this to my colleagues in the diplomatic meetings I will hold in Rome," he said.

Meanwhile, Israel has indicted three members of a Jewish extremist group for setting fire to a bi-lingual school in Jerusalem where Jews and Arabs study together.

Monday's indictment accuses Yitzhak Gabai of Jerusalem and Shlomo and Nachman Twito, both of the ultra-orthodox West Bank settlement Beitar Ilit, of setting fire to the school late last month and writing racist slogans on its walls.

Prosecutors say the three are members of "Lehava," a group opposed to Jewish assimilation and co-existence between Jews and Arabs.

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MiddleEast
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will push for a U.N. Security Council vote this week on a resolution setting a November 2016 deadline for ending the Israeli occupation, officials said Monday.
ML, Israel, Palestinians
413
2014-24-15
Monday, 15 Dec 2014 06:24 AM
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