U.S. would not back Palestinian U.N. bid

Abbas says he supports further talks over a draft resolution on ending Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands

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The United States will not support the current resolution put forward by the Palestinians setting the terms of a peace deal with Israel, a U.S. official told AFP Thursday, in a move almost certain to scupper Palestinian efforts to end the Israel's occupation.

Washington has seen the text of a draft resolution circulating in the U.N. Security Council and "it is not something that we would support," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters.

Earlier, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas said he supported further negotiations over a draft resolution on ending Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands that was submitted to the U.N. Security Council for a possible vote.

Abbas told a Palestinian leadership meeting Thursday that “we will continue in our consultations with the brothers and friends through deliberations, which will take place at the United Nations.”

The resolution, submitted Wednesday, calls for Israeli security forces to be withdrawn no later than the end of 2017 from territories captured during the 1967 Middle East War.

The Arab League said Thursday it hoped the United States would not veto the draft resolution laying out the terms of a final peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians.

"We hope that the United States will not use its veto," said the Arab League's deputy secretary-general for Palestinian affairs, Mohammed Sobeih.

"The use of the American veto will harm the Palestinian cause and will be used by extremists as an instrument to pursue settlement [of Jews in the occupied territories] and ruin the peace process," he told journalists.

The Palestinians have been pressing for some sort of action in the U.N.’s most powerful body. Council member Jordan sponsored the resolution after a day of talks among Arab states.

Israel fiercely opposes any suggestions that the Security Council can set a framework for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, which broke down again in the spring after the two sides couldn’t agree on ground rules.

“Certainly this will not hasten an agreement because without Israel’s consent, nothing will change,” Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said in a statement earlier today, adding that the unilateral move at the United Nations would only deepen the decades-old conflict.

“It would be better if the Security Council dealt with matters truly important to the citizens of the world, such as the murderous attacks this week in Australia and Pakistan, or discuss events in Syria and Libya, and not waste time on the Palestinian’s gimmicks,” he said.


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