UN Vote on Fence Resolution Expected Tomorrow

NEW YORK - The European Union ambassadors to the United Nations and the Palestine Liberation Organization UN envoy yesterday attempted to reach agreement on a resolution proposal about the separation fence. The UN General Assembly is due to vote on the proposal in an emergency session tomorrow afternoon.

The vote follows an emergency session held by the UN General Assembly Friday to discuss a draft resolution demanding that Israel comply with last week's International Court of Justice ruling, which deemed the separation fence illegal and called for the fence to be dismantled.

The proposal formulated by PLO envoy Nasser al-Kidwa, which is supported by the Arab states, includes several operative steps based on the ICJ ruling and calls for sanctions against Israel if it fails to comply with the court's ruling to dismantle the fence.

European diplomats, however, object to the operative steps called for by the PLO and demand that the resolution states merely that "the Emergency Assembly notes the ICJ's opinion." They also want a clause calling on the sides to start peace negotiations.

One operative clause the Europeans object to calls on the UN to prepare a detailed list of Palestinian property that was damaged by the fence's construction, to enable reparations payment to the injured parties. They also object to the clause calling for a special meeting of the states that signed the Geneva Convention for a debate on the ICJ ruling, which said the fence's construction was in violation of the Geneva Convention.