By LEA SPEYER, BREAKING ISRAEL NEWS—
The UN Security Council rejected on Tuesday the Palestinian draft resolution calling for the full Israeli withdrawal from East Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria by the end of 2017.
The resolution, which was submitted on Monday by Jordan on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, called for peace negotiations to center around creating a Palestinian state on pre-1967 borders. It also called for a permanent peace agreement within 12 months.
The resolution failed to receive the nine vote minimum by the Security Council. Out of a total of 15 members, eight votes were in favor, two against and five abstentions.
The United States and Australia voted against the measure. Among European nations, France and Luxembourg voted in favor while Britain and Lithuania abstained. Among African nations, Chad voted yes while Rwanda and Nigeria abstained.
France’s vote in favor of the resolution surprised Israel. Hours before the vote, the Israel’s Foreign Ministry was informed that Paris had changed its position and intended to vote yes on what they called a “softer” statehood resolution.
Had the draft received the nine vote minimum, it would have been defeated by a veto from the United States, one of the five veto-wielding permanent members of the Security Council.
US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power defended her country’s position on voting against the resolution, making clear that it was not a vote against peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
“The United States every day searches for new ways to take constructive steps to support the parties in making progress toward achieving a negotiated settlement,” she said in a speech to the 15-member council. “The Security Council resolution put before us today is not one of those constructive steps.”
“It is deeply imbalanced and contains many elements that are not conducive to negotiations between the parties, including unconstructive deadlines that take no account of Israel’s legitimate security concerns,” Power said, adding that the resolution “was put to a vote without a discussion or due consideration among council members.”
Jordanian Ambassador Dina Kawar expressed her frustration that the resolution was defeated.
“We had hope that the Security Council will adopt today the draft Arab resolution because the council bears both the legal and moral responsibilities to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” she said.
Palestinian observer to the UN Riyad Mansour blamed the defeat of the resolution on the result of the recent war between Israel and Hamas. He said it was time to end the “abhorrent Israeli occupation and impunity that has brought our people so much suffering.”
“The result of today’s vote shows that the Security Council as a whole is clearly not ready and willing to shoulder its responsibilities in a way that would…allow us to open the doors to peace,” he stated. “It is thus most regrettable that the Security Council remains paralyzed.”
In a brief statement to the Security Council, Israeli delegate Israel Nitzan said that the Palestinians have used every possible means to avoid direct negotiations and this resulted in a “preposterous unilateral proposal.”
“I have news for the Palestinians – you cannot agitate and provoke your way to a state,” he said.