Official: Palestinians to Submit Statehood Bid to UN This Month

Draft resolution will call for end date for the Israeli occupation, international recognition of Palestinian state; if bid fails, Palestinians expected to join International Criminal Court.

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Haaretz
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The UN Security Council, May 22, 2014.
The UN Security Council, May 22, 2014. Credit: AP
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Haaretz

The Palestinians will submit a draft resolution calling for an end date for the Israeli occupation and for the recognition of a Palestinian state to the United Nation Security Council later this month, a senior Palestinian official told AFP on Tuesday.

Even if the resolution wins the nine necessary votes in the Council, it is still expected to be vetoed by the United States. But according to the official, the Palestinians are undeterred.

"No other solution has been proposed by the United States" to achieve peace and to establish a Palestinian state, PLO official Wassel Abu Yusef told AFP, criticizing U.S. efforts at pushing for the resumption of bilateral negotiations despite the failure of such talks in recent years.

The last round of U.S.-brokered talks between Israel and the Palestinians broke down in April, and was followed a few months later by a bloody conflict between Israel and the Palestinians factions in the Gaza Strip.

On Monday, senior Palestinian officials were set to meet with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington in hopes of saving the peace process before the Palestinians take their case to the United Nations.

A senior Palestinian source said the U.S. told the Palestinians it could not accept the reported wording of their proposal, which calls for recognition of the 1967 lines and for the occupation to end by November 2016. However, the source said, if the sides could reach an agreement that would answer most of the Palestinian demands – particularly regarding borders – then there could be some flexibility about the date for ending the occupation.

"We don’t intend to confront the U.S., so if we can agree on a formula that accepts the '67 lines as the basis for any agreement, I think the Palestinian team will be able to compromise about the timetable," the source said. "Instead of two or three years, we will be able to extend the timeframe. Ultimately, once the issue of the borders is outlined, the rest of the issues can be dealt with during negotiations."

The official said that the Palestinian negotiators were still working on the final wording of the resolution, and were trying to base it largely on previous American proposals raised during negotiations. That way, he said, their proposal wouldn't be vetoed automatically.

The Palestinians have said that if their UN Security Council bid fails, they would join the International Criminal Court, enabling them to pursue war crimes charges against key Israelis.

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