Israel is worried that the U. S. could abstain from voting on a possible U.N. Security Council resolution proposed by the Palestinian Authority (PA) demanding a deadline for an Israeli withdrawal from Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, Israel's General Radio reported Thursday.
Quoting anonymous Israeli sources, the report said Israeli negotiators were "not sure" whether the U.S. would use its veto power at the Security Council to nullify a possible draft resolution that the PA had warned it would seek if U.S.-mediated peace talks with the Israelis failed to produce a timeframe for an Israeli withdrawal from occupied Palestinian territories.
Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat had been due to meet U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington on Wednesday, a Palestinian official told Anadolu Agency earlier.
The official, who asked not to be named, said Erekat would talk to Kerry about Palestinian proposals for a timetable for ending Israel's decades-old occupation of Palestinian land.
"The Americans will be notified that if they and Israel reject the proposal, the Palestinians will go to the United Nations Security Council for endorsement [of the proposal]," said the Palestinian official.
He added that Palestine would apply for membership in a number of international institutions and treaties, including the International Criminal Court, if the U.S. used its veto to block the proposal.
The roots of the current conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians date back to 1917, when the British government, in the now-famous "Balfour Declaration," called for "the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people."
Jewish immigration rose considerably under the British administration of Palestine, which was consolidated by a League of Nations "mandate" in 1922.
In 1948, with the end of the mandate, a new state – Israel – was declared inside historical Palestine.
As a result, some 700,000 Palestinians fled their homes, or were forcibly expelled, while hundreds of Palestinian villages and towns were razed to the ground by Jewish forces.
The Palestinian diaspora has since become one of the largest in the world. Palestinian refugees are currently spread across Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and other countries, while many have settled in refugee camps in the Palestinian West Bank and Gaza Strip.
On May 15 of each year, Palestinians still commemorate the mass expulsion in 1948, which they refer to as the "nakba" or "catastrophe."
Palestinians demand the establishment of an independent Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, with East Jerusalem – currently occupied by Israel – as its capital.
For many Palestinians, the right to return to their homes in historical Palestine – a right enshrined in U.N. General Assembly Resolution 194 – remains a key demand.
AALast Mod: 04 Eylül 2014, 16:22