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US-Israeli efforts to dilute wording of UN resolution on Palestinian membership fail

February 4, 2014 at 10:52 am

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz has reported that U.S.-Israeli efforts to dilute the text of a resolution recognising Palestine as a non-state member of the UN has failed. President Mahmoud Abbas is due to present the bid to the General Assembly on Thursday, 29th November.

The newspaper added that the Palestinians refused to include an item on the proposed resolution that prevents them from going to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. It noted that the Palestinians distributed a draft proposal of the final resolution today in New York, refusing any other debate on the resolution. The newspaper pointed out that the US had tried in recent days to change the text of the resolution in order to reduce the political damage that could result from the vote. It is expected that the Palestinians will win by a large majority.

Last Monday, Haaretz had reported that Israel is cooperating with the US in its efforts, and that Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, sent his special envoy, Yitzhak Molcho, to Washington to work with senior US officials in this regard.

The newspaper quoted an Israeli official as saying that the efforts were too little too late and that they had ended in failure. According to him, senior U.S. officials contacted Palestinian chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat, yesterday and asked him to come to Washington quickly to conduct negotiations on the text of the resolution however, the latter refused. Erekat is quoted as saying that he “has no time, and that he will talk with them after the vote.” According to the Israeli official, the Palestinians are not ready for further discussion on the resolution.

Haaretz also noted that the Palestinian side mainly insisted on refusal to incorporate an item that would prevent Palestine from going to the ICC to lodge formal complaints against the Israelis.

The newspaper quoted the Palestinian side as saying that they have made it clear to the US and prominent members in the EU that they are willing to make oral guarantees regarding going to the International Court only for a six month period after which they will no longer be binding.