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France warns Palestinians over escalating diplomatic ‘battle’

France warned Palestinians against escalating a diplomatic “battle” with Israel after Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas said he would resubmit the Palestinian statehood bid to the UNSC, local newspapers reported agencies saying.

The US vetoed the draft resolution which demanded an Israeli withdrawal from Palestinian lands occupied in 1967 in a Security Council vote on December 30. On Sunday, Abbas said he hoped to resubmit the resolution “perhaps after a week”.

France, one of the Council’s five permanent members, backed the resolution despite having some reservations. France’s parliament also backed Palestinian independence in a symbolic vote on December 2 that underlined Europe’s impatience with a stalled Middle East peace process.

In the wake of the UNSC defeat, Abbas signed up to 20 international conventions including the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which could enable the PA to bring Israeli war criminals to justice.

France said it is against the escalation of this “battle”. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said: “We are against the logic of letting this spiral out of control.”

He added: “While we think the Palestinians have the right to move the status quo, at the same time there has to be an effort to find a consensus solution. Once you set this cycle off, you get results that you do not want one way or another.”

Abbas hopes that new countries which joined the UNSC on January 1 will be more sympathetic to the Palestinian resolution.

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