Jordan Submits UN Draft on Palestinians; Lieberman: Act of Aggression

Finalized draft could be put to vote on Thursday.

The United Nations Security Council meets at the UN on July 22, 2014 in New York City.
The United Nations Security Council meets at the UN on July 22, 2014 in New York City.

Jordan late Wednesday submitted a draft United Nations Security Council resolution calling for an end to the Israeli occupation by 2017, on behalf of the Palestinian leadership.

After a day of closed-door negotiations among Arab members of the United Nations, Jordan, which represents Arab countries on the Security Council, put the draft resolution "in blue," meaning the text of the draft has been finalized and could be put to a vote 24 hours later.

While the resolution could be put to a vote late Thursday, Riyad Mansour, Palestinian ambassador to the UN, said his country was open to continuing negotiations.

"The draft in blue in not closing the door to the continuation of the negotiation with all of our partners," Mansour said. "We are willing to work with those who want to work with us in the Security Council in a positive and constructive way."

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki said that the resolution submitted by Jordan was a French-sponsored version of the draft, not the one originally phrased by the Palestinians and the Arab League.

The resolution sets a two-year deadline to reach a solution to the Palestinian issue, Al-Malki told Voice of Palestine Radio.

"France said it wants to go to the Security Council with us because the proposal will deal with all the problems that existed over the past 20 years of negotiations," al-Malki said. "It believes a ceiling to end negotiations and end the occupation is the best process now, because direct negotiations have proven to be futile."

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Thursday that the submission of the draft amounted to an act of aggression.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is trying to censure Israel, Lieberman said, a process he added would have no benefit for the Palestinians but rather worsen the regional council. Such a measure will not advance steps toward a permanent agreement, Lieberman added, as without Israel's consent, nothing will change.

"The UN Security Council should concern itself with the real important issues," Lieberman said, "like the welfare of the citizens of the world, how to deal with the murderous terrorist acts such as those that occurred in Australia and Pakistan this week, or deliberate what has been happening in Syria and Libya, instead of wasting its time with the Palestinians' gimmicks." 

Earlier on Wednesday, the European Parliament accepted, with a large majority, a decision expressing support "in principle" of the recognition of a Palestinian state, along with furthering negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

Some 498 parliamentarians voted in favor of the motion, 88 voted against it, and 111 abstained.

On Tuesday, the U.S. clarified that it would be willing to support a United Nations Security Council proposal on the Israeli-Palestinian issue, as long as it contains "no unilateral measures" that would predetermine the outcome of diplomatic negotiations.

State Department Spokesman Jen Psaki said that if the wording of the resolution included terms of reference for negotiations on the core issues, the United States would accept it, and not view it as a unilateral move.

Full text of the draft resolution