NEW YORK, December 31, 2014 (WAFA) – The United Nations Security Council failed on Tuesday to adopt a draft resolution calling for the end of the Israeli occupation and the establishment of an independent state of Palestine, with Jerusalem as its capital.
Eight of the Council’s 15 members voted in favor, according to the UN News Center, one fewer than the nine members needed to pass a resolution in the absence of a veto by any of the Council’s five permanent members – China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom or the United States.
The United States also vetoed the text, a move that would have also rendered the draft to a failure even if the total required positive votes had been garnered.
Following the motion, Riyad Mansour, Palestinian ambassador at the UN, criticized the world body for the failure of the vote.
“The Security Council has once again failed to uphold its charter duties to address this crisis and to meaningfully contribute to a lasting solution in accordance with its own resolutions,” said Mansour.
“This year, our people under Israeli occupation endured the further theft and colonization of their land, the demolition of their homes, daily military raids, arrests and detention of thousands of civilians including children, rampant settler terrorism, constant affronts to their human dignity and repeated incursions at our holiest sites.”
Meanwhile, Samantha Power, Permanent Representative of the US to the UN, stressed her country’s support for new ways to constructively support both parties in achieving a negotiated settlement.
“This resolution is not one of those constructive steps,” she said, adding that the draft set the stage for “more division, not compromise.”
The draft, submitted by Jordan on behalf of the Arab countries, had called for a one-year deadline for negotiations with Israel and a “full and phased withdrawal of Israeli forces” from the West Bank by the end of 2017, to end up with achieving an independent Palestinian state.
Commenting on this, Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat wondered why “certain countries continue to ensure impunity to the Israeli occupation and its severe international law violations by not voting in favor of the resolution.”
He called upon the international community to assume its responsibility and called for a halt to treating Israel as a state above the law, making reference to Israel’s nonstop violations of international law and the UN resolutions.
“Ending Israel’s culture of impunity is required in order to achieve a just and lasting peace,” said Erekat, adding, “We are not asking for anything new, just for countries to uphold to their responsibilities and deal with our case accordingly.”
He said the Palestinian leadership will hold an emergency meeting on Wednesday evening to discuss the next steps.
“We strongly believe that diplomacy, including accession to treaties and international organizations is a right for the Palestinian people. We will announce our immediate future steps.”