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Washington criticises Palestinian statehood bid

December 30, 2014 at 12:06 pm

The US State Department has sharply criticised the Palestinian statehood bid recently submitted to the UN Security Council.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) submitted the final draft of the bid to the UN on Monday evening, calling for the establishment of a peace deal with the Israeli occupation within a year and an “end to occupation” of Palestinian territories by 2017.

The spokesman of the US State Department, Jeff Rathke, criticised the bid, claiming it would not benefit the Palestinian-Israeli cause.

“We don’t think this resolution is constructive,” Rathke said in the Department’s regular news briefing. “We think it sets arbitrary deadlines for reaching a peace agreement and for Israel’s withdrawal from the West Bank, and those are more likely to curtail useful negotiations than to bring them to a successful conclusion.”

He added that, “the resolution fails to account for Israel’s legitimate security needs, and the satisfaction of those needs, of course, is integral to a sustainable settlement.”

Palestinian officials said on Monday that the final draft is not new, but rather a revision of the resolution submitted to the council by Jordan earlier this month. The revised resolution sharpens the Palestinian stance on Jerusalem, future borders and Palestinian refugees.

To be passed, the bid needs support of nine member states and no objections by permanent members. If successful, the US will be forced to decide whether or not to use its veto.

The PA believes that it has an inherent right to establish a Palestinian state on land occupied by Israel in 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital. Hamas, however, has also criticised the bid, saying that it makes too many concessions to the Israeli occupiers.