Palestinians want UN timetable to end Israeli occupation

AP News
Posted: Apr 06, 2015 8:57 PM

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The Palestinians are "ready and willing" to see if the U.N. Security Council has "the political will" to adopt a resolution with a deadline for ending Israel's occupation and establishing a Palestinian state, the Palestinian U.N. ambassador said Monday.

Ambassador Riyad Mansour told reporters that adoption of a resolution with a timetable would be "one of the most effective measures to combat extremism in our region, because extremists receive their fuel from the injustice of the Palestinian people."

"If there is a just solution to this conflict ... in a short period of time, then you'll take away from them the main source of recruitment and mobilization," he said, adding that it would also contribute to resolving perhaps 70 percent of the "burning issues in the Middle East."

Mansour said the United States holds the key.

U.S. President Barack Obama has said he will reassess U.S. policy toward Israel following Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's comment before last month's election that he would not allow the establishment of a Palestinian state on his watch. That could be a possible sign that Washington would no longer shield Israel in the Security Council.

Last year, the council rejected a Palestinian resolution demanding an end to the Israeli occupation within three years. The U.S. opposed that draft, saying Palestinian statehood can only be achieved through negotiations, but it didn't have to use its veto because the resolution didn't get the minimum nine votes needed for approval.

France's Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said late last month that his government would propose a council resolution in the coming weeks with a framework for negotiations toward resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

A day earlier, the U.N.'s outgoing top Mideast envoy, Robert Serry, challenged the Security Council to lead the way on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying it should present a framework for talks that "may be the only way to preserve the goal of a two-state solution."

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Mansour said the Palestinians want a new resolution with a timetable and the parameters for a Palestinian statehood deal that would define the pre-1967 frontier as a reference point for border talks, designate Jerusalem as a capital of two states, and call for a fair solution for Palestinian refugees.

The Palestinians also want an international conference, and negotiations to include the parties as well as the five veto-wielding members of the Security Council — the U.S., Russia, China, Britain and France — and "concerned" Arab parties, he said.

Mansour stressed that there must be the "political will" not only to adopt a resolution but to ensure that it is implemented, which is the only way to end Israel's occupation and save the two-state solution.

That, he said, "should be our answer to the new-old position of Prime Minister Netanyahu who is against a two-state solution."