A draft resolution distributed by the Palestinian Authority to UN Security Council members asserts that Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem are illegal, calls to renew the peace talks and sets a timeframe of a year to reach a permanent solution to the conflict. A copy of the draft was posted on the blog UN Report.
The Palestinian bid to condemn settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem has been moving ahead on low profile since the beginning of this year. The Palestinians have held consultations over the past few months with a number of Security Council members, such as France, Spain and Egypt, to gage the extent of support. A senior Palestinian official said Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will be arriving in New York on April 22, Passover eve, to be present personally for the planned vote.
The last time the Security Council voted on a resolution condemning the settlements was in February 2011. At that time, the Palestinians garnered the massive support of 14 out of 15 Security Council members, including Britain, France and Germany. The United States opposed the resolution and after failing to get the Palestinians to withdraw it, cast a veto. This was the only time in seven years that U.S. President Barack Obama used his veto.
The draft resolution asserts "all Israeli settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, are illegal and constitute a major obstacle to the achievement of peace on the basis of the two-state solution." It also condemns "all measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of the Territory, including, inter alia, construction and expansion of settlements, confiscation of land, demolition of homes and the forced transfer of Palestinian civilians."
The draft further brings up the obligation under the Quartet Roadmap to freeze settlement construction, "including 'natural growth,'" and to dismantle all illegal settlement outposts.
As per the draft, the UN Security Council would call on both sides to respect their previous commitments and international law, to practice restraint and "refrain from provocative actions, incitement and inflammatory rhetoric, with the aim, inter alia, of the de-escalating the situation on the ground, rebuilding trust and confidence, demonstrating through policies and actions a genuine commitment to the two-state solution, and creating the conditions necessary for promoting peace."
The draft includes a condemnation of all acts of terror and an expression of concern over violence against civilians, "including by Israeli settlers against Palestinian civilians."
It calls for the "prevention of all acts of terror, violence, destruction, harassment and provocation by Israeli settlers, especially against Palestinian civilians and their properties, and calls for accountability for the perpetration of all such illegal acts."
In the draft, the Security Council reiterates its vision of two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, living peacefully side by side, and stresses that there is an urgent need to end the Israeli occupation and reach just peace based on UN resolutions, the Arab Peace Initiative and the Roadmap.
As per the draft, the Security Council would call on all sides to invest efforts to renew genuine negotiations on all core issues. Moreover, it urges the international community to advance the process and mentions the importance of the Arab Peace Initiative in this context.
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