UN Security Council Rejects Palestinian Bid for Statehood

By Julie Stahl

CBN News, JERUSALEM, Israel — The U.N. Security Council rejected a Palestinian resolution in a vote late Tuesday that would have established a Palestinian state within a year and divided Jerusalem without a negotiated settlement with Israel.

The failed resolution was a blow to the Palestinian bid to gain support from the international body that would have imposed a solution on Israel.

“The result of today’s vote shows that the Security Council as a whole is clearly not ready and willing to shoulder its responsibilities in a way that would allow for the adoption of a comprehensive resolution and allow us to open the doors for peace and for a just and lasting solution based on international law,” Palestinian U.N. Ambassador Riyad Mansour said.

Prior to the vote, Israel Nitzan, the Israeli Mission’s Middle East advisor, charged the Palestinians with doing everything possible to avoid direct talks with Israel.

“They have engaged in a never ending stream of political games and now they are parading into this council with a preposterous unilateral proposal,” Nitzan said. “I have news for the Palestinians: you cannot agitate and provoke your way to a state.”

The resolution called for Israel to leave the West Bank by 2017. That’s the area occupied by Jordan following the War of Independence.

Known as Judea and Samaria, Israel regained sovereignty over the area in the 1967 Six-Day War. Many Israelis consider it the nation’s biblical heartland that should not ceded in any future deal with the Palestinian Authority.

The United States was expected to veto the resolution. But in the end, the resolution was one short of the nine votes needed to pass.

Both the Unitec States and Australia voted against the resolution. There were five abstentions including the United Kingdom.

U.S. Ambassador Samantha Powers called the resolution “deeply unbalanced” and said it would undermine negotiations.

“We voted against this resolution not because we are comfortable with the status quo. We voted against it because we know what everyone here knows as well,” Powers said.

“Peace will come from hard choices and compromises that must be made at the negotiating table. Today’s staged confrontation in the U.N. Security Council will not bring the parties closer to achieving a two state solution,” she added.

It’s not clear what steps the Palestinians will take now. But it’s likely the United States will increase the pressure on Israel and the Palestinians to return to negotiations.

In Israel, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman was quoted as saying every country that wants Israel and the Palestinians to reach an agreement “must act responsibly and clarify to the Palestinians that decisions are only reached at the negotiating table.”

The Israeli website Arutz Sheva quoted Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon saying the Palestinian Authority “continues to prove it isn’t interested in direct talks, but rather in provocations and acts of de-legitimization against Israel.”

Report via CBN News

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

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