Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party on Monday held a series of rallies across the West Bank to support Abbas’ moves to resubmit a draft resolution to the United Nations Security Council setting a deadline for the end of Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territory it has occupied since 1967. As well as expressing political support for Abbas’ international moves the actions also protested Israel’s withholding of Palestinian taxes and called for the boycott of Israeli products.
The UN resolution was first submitted last month but failed to garner enough votes to force the United States to use its expected veto. However, January 1st saw five new non-permanent members join the Security Council and it is believed that the new members may have a more supportive position to the Palestinian resolution. Even if the vote gains additional support with the new submission the US has already made it clear that it will use its veto to prevent the resolution passing.
Immediately after the failure of the previous draft, Abbas promised to resubmit the resolution although these moves have been met with skepticism and even anger by some other Palestinian factions. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said on January 5th that his movement is ‘totally opposed’ to the resubmission which he called ‘political foolishness’.
A statement released by Fatah before the rallies also called for a full boycott of Israeli goods. This call seems to contradict statements Abbas has made previously about the boycott. He was widely quoted in December 2013 as saying in response to a question about the boycott, “No we do not support the boycott of Israel. But we ask everyone to boycott the products of the settlements because the settlements are in our territory…”
Many participants in the rallies also carried banners protesting Israel’s withholding of Palestinian taxes, a move it implemented following the PA’s move to join the International Criminal Court.