Updated Security Council resolution calls for East Jerusalem as Palestinian capital, Israel says UN creating ‘second Hamastan’

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Late Monday evening Jordan submitted an updated version of a draft resolution seeking to end Israel’s occupation to the United Nations Security Council. The latest document maintains a 2017 deadline for an end to the Israeli occupation but contains a handful revisions including substantive changes on the status of Jerusalem and Israel’s separation wall. Palestinian Liberation Organization’s Negotiation Affairs Department spokesperson Ashraf Khatib tells Mondoweiss the edits were made in consultation with the Arab League after Jordan submitted the first draft on December 18, 2014.

The updated draft calls for East Jerusalem as a “capital” for the “state of Palestine,” while the last version submitted two weeks before labeled “Jerusalem as the shared capital of the two States.” The newest draft also added an amendment reaffirming the 2004 International Court of Justice ruling that condemned Israel’s separation barrier. A note on water and prisoners, key negotiating points during the Oslo period, which were not mentioned in the first draft, were added.

The United States has said they would not support the latest Palestinian-Arab draft resolution, citing differences over how to achieve the shared goal of a negotiating a two-state solution.

Reporting on the Ground

“As we’ve said before, this draft resolution is not something that we would support and other countries share the same concerns that we have,” said State Department Spokesperson Jake Rathke yesterday hours before Jordan gave the resolution to the secretariat. Rathke continued, “We think it sets arbitrary deadlines for reaching a peace agreement and for Israel’s withdrawal from the West Bank, and those are more likely to curtail useful negotiations than to bring them to a successful conclusion.”

“Further, we think that the resolution fails to account for Israel’s legitimate security needs, and the satisfaction of those needs, of course, is integral to a sustainable settlement,” he added.

The State Department’s comments mark a departure from previous remarks where Secretary of State John Kerry has said the U.S. could not support a Palestinian resolution if the text called for “unilateral” action to achieve an independent Palestinian state. The latest text does not, as the 2017 deadline to end the occupation is described as a recommendation, not a hard timeline.

Palestinian leaders have maintained the draft resolution will come to a vote before January when the four temporary members of the Security Council rotate. Khatib reiterated this, telling Mondoweiss the leadership hopes a vote is brought Wednesday morning. There is skepticism as to whether they can meet their deadline. In part this is because the Palestinians leaders are subject to Jordan’s decision of when to call the vote, as they are the Arab partner on the Security Council and Jordan has consistently been vague on the time frame.  Jordan’s Ambassador to the United Nations Dina Kawar recently said they are now selecting “the best time to pass the vote.”

“If I tell you this week and it happens next week you’re going to come back and ask me why this week and not the last week,” continued Kawar evading press queries on when the vote will take place.

The Palestinians have not been able to state if they have enough committed votes to have their resolution pass the Security Council. Over the weekend Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Secretary of State John Kerry discussed the resolution on a phone call, indicating lobbying was still in play.

Also on Sunday Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decried the Security Council draft resolution to his cabinet, stating that it would lead to a “second Hamastan and would endanger our security.” On Monday, the Prime Minister rebuked the Jordanian sponsored Palestinian measure further in a meeting with the Governor of Indiana Mike Pence citing a doomsday scenario was underway, “Israel and our civilization is under attack,” he said.

“The attack is now coming on Israel from the Palestinian Authority seeking to impose on us a diktat that would undermine Israel’s security, put its future in peril,” he said. “But I want to guarantee you, to you and to the people of Israel: If the international community does not reject the Palestinian Authority’s proposal, we will. Israel will oppose conditions that endanger our future,” added Netanyahu.

Full text of the Security Council draft resolution:

17 December 2014

Original: English

Jordan: draft resolution

Reaffirming its previous resolutions, in particular resolutions 242 (1967); 338 (1973), 1397 (2002), 1515 (2003), 1544 (2004), 1850 (2008), 1860 (2009) and the Madrid Principles,

Reiterating its vision of a region where two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, live side by side in peace within secure and recognized borders,

Reaffirming the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and to independence in their State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital,

Recalling General Assembly resolution 181 (II) of 29 November 1947,

Reaffirming the principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force and recalling its resolutions 446 (1979), 452 (1979) and 465 (1980), determining, inter alia, that the policies and practices of Israel in establishing settlements in the territories occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, have no legal validity and constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East,

Recalling also its relevant resolutions regarding the status of Jerusalem, including resolution 478 (1980) of 20 August 1980, and bearing in mind that the annexation of East Jerusalem is not recognized by the international community,

Affirming the imperative of resolving the problem of the Palestine refugees on the basis of international law and relevant resolutions, including resolution 194 (III), as stipulated in the Arab Peace Initiative,

Recalling the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice of 9 July 2004 on the legal consequences of the construction of a wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory,

Underlining that the Gaza Strip constitutes an integral part of the Palestinian territory occupied in 1967, and calling for a sustainable solution to the situation in the Gaza Strip, including the sustained and regular opening of its border crossings for normal flow of persons and goods, in accordance with international humanitarian law,

Welcoming the important progress in Palestinian state-building efforts recognised by the World Bank and the IMF in 2012, and reiterating its call to all States and international organizations to contribute to the Palestinian institution building programme in preparation for independence,

Reaffirming that a just, lasting and peaceful settlement of the Israeli- Palestinian conflict can only be achieved by peaceful means, based on an enduring commitment to mutual recognition, freedom from violence, incitement and terror, and the two-State solution, building on previous agreements and obligations and stressing that the only viable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is an agreement that ends the occupation that began in 1967, resolves all permanent status issues as previously defined by the parties, and fulfils the legitimate aspirations of both parties,

Condemning all violence and hostilities directed against civilians and all acts of terrorism, and reminding all States of their obligations under resolution 1373 (2001),

Recalling the obligation to ensure the safety and well-being of civilians and ensure their protection in situations of armed conflict,

Reaffirming the right of all States in the region to live in peace within secure and internationally recognized borders,

Noting with appreciation the efforts of the United States in 2013/14 to facilitate and advance negotiations between the parties aimed at achieving a final peace settlement,

Aware of its responsibilities to help secure a long-term solution to the conflict,

1. Affirms the urgent need to attain, no later than 12 months after the adoption of this resolution, a just, lasting and comprehensive peaceful solution that brings an end to the Israeli occupation since 1967 and fulfils the vision of two independent, democratic and prosperous states, Israel and a sovereign, contiguous and viable State of Palestine, living side by side in peace and security within mutually and internationally recognized borders;

2. Decides that the negotiated solution will be based on the following parameters:

  • –  borders based on 4 June 1967 lines with mutually agreed, limited, equivalent land swaps;
  • –  security arrangements, including through a third-party presence, that guarantee and respect the sovereignty of a State of Palestine, including through a full and phased withdrawal of the Israeli occupying forces, which will end the occupation that began in 1967 over an agreed transition period in a reasonable timeframe, not to exceed the end of 2017, and that ensure the security of both Israel and Palestine through effective border security and by preventing the resurgence of terrorism and effectively addressing security threats, including emerging and vital threats in the region;
  • –  a just and agreed solution to the Palestine refugee question on the basis of Arab Peace Initiative, international law and relevant United Nations resolutions, including resolution 194 (III);
  • –  a just resolution of the status of Jerusalem as the capital of the two States which fulfils the legitimate aspirations of both parties and protects freedom of worship;

– the just settlement of all other outstanding issues, including water and prisoners;

3. Recognizes that the final status agreement shall put an end to the occupation and an end to all claims and lead to immediate mutual recognition;

4. Affirms that the definition of a plan and schedule for implementing the security arrangements shall be placed at the centre of the negotiations within the framework established by this resolution;

5. Looks forward to welcoming Palestine as a full Member State of the United Nations within the timeframe defined in the present resolution;

6. Urges both parties to engage seriously in the work of building trust and to act together in the pursuit of peace by negotiating in good faith and refraining from all acts of incitement and provocative acts or statements, and also calls upon all States and international organizations to support the parties in confidence- building measures and to contribute to an atmosphere conducive to negotiations;

7. Calls upon all parties to abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law, including the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949;

8. Encourages concurrent efforts to achieve a comprehensive peace in the region, which would unlock the full potential of neighbourly relations in the Middle East and reaffirms in this regard the importance of the full implementation of the Arab Peace Initiative;

9. Calls for a renewed negotiation framework that ensures the close involvement, alongside the parties, of major stakeholders to help the parties reach an agreement within the established timeframe and implement all aspects of the final status, including through the provision of political support as well as tangible support for post-conflict and peace-building arrangements, and welcomes the proposition to hold an international conference that would launch the negotiations;

10. Calls upon both parties to abstain from any unilateral and illegal actions, as well as all provocations and incitement, that could escalate tensions and undermine the viability and attainability of a two-State solution on the basis of the parameters defined in this resolution;

10bis. Reiterates its demand in this regard for the complete cessation of all Israeli settlement activities in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem;

11. Calls for immediate efforts to redress the unsustainable situation in the Gaza Strip, including through the provision of expanded humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian civilian population via the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East and other United Nations agencies and through serious efforts to address the underlying issues of the crisis, including consolidation of the ceasefire between the parties;

12. Requests the Secretary-General to report on the implementation of this resolution every three months;

13. Decides to remain seized of the matter.

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Wow, them Palestinians sure are a mighty folk. Without tanks, fighter jets or killer drones they imperil the entire Israeli national state by just submitting a piece of paper.

Makes you wonder what all those nuclear weapons are for.

The draft resolution appears to be startlingly and precisely the US official position for decades, it is just an affirmation of our policy. Our own State Department could have written it verbatim. Israel gets to keep the territories seized outside the 181 boundaries in 48 and 49, and the Arabs… Read more »

“As we’ve said before, this draft resolution is not something that we would support ” . Fine, then write your own proposal and present it to the stakeholders.You seem to know what you could support , so get on with it or is there a reason why you cannot write… Read more »

To a vote tonight at 10 PM EST tonight. One way or another, there is gonna be new status quo.

Surprise surprise – not – Britain has said it will not support this resolution because it does not address ”Israel’s security concerns”. As though a supremacist state built on someone else’s land has the right to security. And that’s how it always is. No proposal is ever ‘moderate’ enough to… Read more »