Abbas: Palestine May Re-submit Rejected UN Bid

ANKARA, January 14, 2015 (WAFA) – President Mahmoud Abbas said the Palestinian Authority would refer to the Arab Peace Initiative the issue of re-submitting a rejected United Nations draft resolution that called for an end to Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories within three years.

The UN Security Council rejected on December 30 an Arab-backed Palestinian draft resolution that had set 2017 as a deadline for Israel’s complete withdrawal from the occupied West Bank.

‘We will refer the issue to the monitoring committee of the Arab Peace Initiative. If it is accepted, then we will re-submit the rejected draft resolution to the United Nations,’ Abbas told the Anadolu Agency before he departed for Palestine on Tuesday.

Abbas was on an official visit to the Turkish capital Ankara where he met with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday.

The UN bill, which names East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state based on pre-1967 borders, failed to win the nine votes needed to pass, with the U.S. – Israel’s longstanding, veto-wielding ally – voting against the proposal.

The United Kingdom, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Korea and Lithuania abstained from voting while Jordan, France, Russia, China, Argentina, Chad, Chile and Luxembourg voted in favor.

The bill also urges both parties to abstain from any unilateral and illegal actions, including settlement activities, which could undermine the viability of a two-state solution, referring to the UN-proposed solution that calls for an independent state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel.

In response to the bill’s failure, Abbas applied for Palestinian membership in 20 international treaties and organizations, including the International Criminal Court, which would – theoretically – allow the Palestinian Authority to refer specific Israeli actions to the prosecutor and request that they be investigated.

The Israeli government, in turn, halted the transfer of some $125 million of Palestinian tax revenues, collected monthly on behalf of PA.

The funds represent an essential source of income for the PA, which uses it to pay the salaries of employees of a unity government drawn up last summer.

The Arab Peace Initiative was first proposed in 2002 at the Beirut Summit of the Arab League by Saudi Arabia, and later endorsed once again at the Riyadh Summit in 2007.

It attempts to put an end to the Arab–Israeli conflict, and calls for Israel’s complete withdrawal from the occupied territories as well as a fair settlement of the Palestinian refugee crisis.