World Bulletin/News Desk
A draft resolution calling for an end to Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands by November 2016 is planned to be put to a vote in UN Security Council by the end of this month, the Palestinian UN envoy said Tuesday.
The motion, drafted late in September, sets Nov. 25, 2016, as the deadline for Israel to withdraw from Palestinian territories it has occupied since 1967.
In an exclusive interview with The Anadolu Agency, Riyad Mansour said Palestinians were negotiating with the four European members of the Security Council on details of the draft resolution “without changing substance, especially with regard to the time frame.”
He said France was speaking on behalf of the four European members, and Germany was also involved in the talks as a country outside of the Security Council.
“We have to finish this exercise sometime this month,” Mansour said.
The motion requires a “yes” vote of at least nine of the 15 council members to pass, but it can be vetoed by any of the permanent members, including the United States, which is likely to oppose it.
Asked Sept. 30 whether the U.S. would support such a resolution, America's UN ambassador, Samantha Power, said “the only way to a negotiated solution is through negotiations between the two parties.”
The U.S.-brokered direct Palestinian-Israeli talks came to a halt in April after Israel failed to honor an earlier promise to release a number of Palestinian prisoners.
Other options ready
The Palestinian envoy said he hoped the council would adopt the resolution “to open doors for peace,” and that Palestinians would pursue other options if the motion is defeated.
He said these options included involving the International Criminal Court and the UN Human Rights Council.
“We can also discuss with our allies and friends about the possibility of having an international peace conference," Mansour said. "France and Russia are interested in these options.”
The State of Palestine, which has observer status in the UN, has the right to take its complaints regarding Israel’s settlement activities in occupied territories to the International Criminal Court.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank during the 1967 Middle East War. In a move never recognized by the international community, it annexed the city of Jerusalem -- sacred to Muslims, Jews and Christians -- in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the Jewish state.
International law views the West Bank and East Jerusalem as occupied territories and deems the building of Jewish settlements on the land to be illegal.
Asked about Israeli UN envoy Ron Prosor’s statement that Jerusalem is the “eternal capital” of the Jewish people, Mansour said "foolish stuff" like this comes out of "fantasies."
“In the Middle East, we have two phenomena: one that is trying to bring the Islamic khilafah of 1,400 years ago, with Daesh, or ISIL or ISIS," Mansour said, referring to the ancient Islamic caliphate. "And now we see the Israeli version of Daesh, those who want to resurrect the Jewish khilafah of three or four thousand years ago. The ambassador of Israel spoke with that spirit.”
In an address to the Security Council on Oct. 29, Prosor called Jerusalem “the eternal capital” of Israel.
“Where is the ambassador of Babylon?" he asked. "Where is the ambassador of Caesar's Rome? Where is the ambassador of Mesopotamia? They have been relegated to history, while we, the Jewish people, continue to stand tall against the trials and tests of time.”
But the Palestinian envoy said such ideas cannot receive support or sympathy from the international community.
“I was observing the body language of the members of the Security Council when he was saying that foolish stuff and they were astonished, amazed and disgusted at this kind of not-realistic ideas,” he said.Last Mod: 05 Kasım 2014, 12:20