Palestinian Draft Condemning Israeli Settlements Designed to Win U.S. Support

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says proposed UN Security Council resolution uses the same language that the U.S. has in criticizing settlements.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said his new attempt to get the United Nations to condemn Israeli settlements in the West Bank was specifically designed to win U.S. support.

As part of a new emphasis on winning international support for their cause, the Palestinians have drafted a proposal and are lobbying for a Security Council resolution that would declare West Bank settlements illegal and an "obstacle to peace."

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Oct 14 AP

The U.S. has said it doesn't support the move, but it remains unclear if it will veto the measure or abstain should the draft come to a vote. Israel has said it's an attempt by the Palestinians to avoid negotiations.

Speaking in Brazil on Thursday, Abbas said the Palestinian draft used the "same words" as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has in criticizing settlements.

"We drafted it using the same words that Secretary Clinton is using and so we don't see why the U.S. would veto it," Abbas said.

Abbas will attend the inauguration of Brazil's president-elect Dilma Rousseff on Saturday. Brazil recently recognized a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders.

With peace talks at an impasse, the Palestinians are increasingly trying to win international recognition of their state, which they hope will put bring more pressure to bear on Israel.