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PLO: France to submit Security Council resolution on international protection force at al-Aqsa mosque

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France will present a Security Council resolution this week on behalf of the Palestinian leadership calling for international observers deployed in Jerusalem, according to senior Palestinian official and member of the PLO executive committee Hanan Ashrawi.

The proposal will seek a civilian monitoring force at the Noble Sanctuary, the holy complex that houses the Muslim sites the Dome of the Rock and the al-Asqa Mosque, and the Jewish sacred site the Western Wall and the location of two ancient synagogues, called the Temple Mount. It is expected to be similar to an Oslo Accords agreement between Israeli and Palestinian leaders to station in Hebron 150 international civilian observers with no mandate for intervention.

Speaking at a briefing in Ramallah today Ashrawi said the draft resolution would be limited to “dealing with the current situation and therefore including observers and condemning the settlements and settlement activities,” noting, “it is not a political initiative that is comprehensive.”

The proposal is scheduled for a vote at the Security Council “before Thursday,” Ashrawi said.

Both the Israel and the U.S. have come out against the resolution, condemning any effort to bring new parties into the now tenuous accord between Israel and Jordan, where Jordan is licensed to safeguard the holy sites plaza. Two weeks ago Jordan announced it would consider recalling its ambassador from Israel, in light of Israeli forces firing dispersants into the mosque during clashes with Palestinian protesters.

“Let me be crystal clear, Israel will not agree to any international presence on the Temple Mount. Such a presence would be a change in the status quo,” Israel’s Deputy Ambassador David Roet said in a meeting of the UN Security Council last week. 

“We are not seeking some new change. We’re not seeking outsiders or others to come in. I don’t think Israel wants that. I don’t think King Abdullah and Jordan want that, and we’re not proposing it,” said Secretary of State John Kerry in Spain on Monday.

Secretary Kerry will meet with Israeli and Palestinian leaders in bi-lateral talks this week, likely in Jordan, in hopes of formulating an alternative to the French initiative.

“I don’t have specific expectations except to try to move things forward. And it would depend on the conversations themselves as to what it is that we’re able to define in the context of steps that might or might not be taken to help people understand that in fact leaders are leading and making a serious effort to try to resolve the current level of conflict,” Kerry said.

American representatives were scheduled to meet with both parties last week at an convening of the Quartet—a Middle East negotiating envoy with representatives from the UN, the US, the EU and Russia. Yet after Israel reportedly rejected the timing of the delegation, the meetings were cancelled.

Palestinian officials said they welcomed discussions with the Quartet.

The status quo over the al-Asqa mosque and wider Noble Sanctuary was brokered between Israel and Jordan following the 1967 war. The terms of the accord forbid Jews from praying at —but not entering—the compound. However, Palestinian leaders say with 12,000 Jewish visitors entering the plaza annually with the protection of Israeli police who do not uniformly prevent Jewish prayer, Israel has in effect already altered the status quo.

“Palestine has been requesting international protection from the United Nations for over a year, but so far it has failed to take action,” wrote Secretary-General of the PLO and chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat in an op-ed last week for Newsweek Europe.

Even so, the French initiative is comes amid seething tensions with Jerusalem as a focal point, and al-Aqsa mosque as the symbolic tipping point. In the past two weeks Israeli forces killed 44 Palestinians and one Eritrean, and Palestinian attackers killed eight Israelis. Moreover Israel erected dozens of checkpoints across Jerusalem last week, enacting closures over entire neighborhoods. Palestinians say these curfew hours and identity card checks add another layer of limiting Muslim prayer at the mosque, and are a violation of the status quo.

“Now, as Mr. Netanyahu decides to declare war against Palestinian civilians by adopting a set of collective punishment policies, and the Mayor of the Israeli Jerusalem Municipality Mr. [Nir] Barkat calls upon Israeli-Jews, not necessarily soldiers, to carry their weapons around the city, we can only expect that more violence and oppression will arrive in the coming days,” Erekat continued.

As a permanent member of the Security Council, France is able to put forward initiatives raised by countries who do have a seats on the council. Palestine is a non-member observer of the United Nations.

Allison Deger
About Allison Deger

Allison Deger is the Assistant Editor of Mondoweiss.net. Follow her on twitter at @allissoncd.

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26 Responses

  1. CigarGod
    CigarGod on October 20, 2015, 10:19 am

    Every tiny step toward UN occupation of Israel is a step toward peace.

  2. Palikari
    Palikari on October 20, 2015, 10:34 am

    The US will veto this resolution anyway.

    You’re wasting your time!

    • weiss
      weiss on October 20, 2015, 11:30 am

      That makes you happy???

    • diasp0ra
      diasp0ra on October 20, 2015, 11:43 am

      There was a time when the regime in Pretoria could rely on western vetos to cover its tracks.

      Times change.

    • lysias
      lysias on October 20, 2015, 11:57 am

      If a lopsided majority votes for the resolution, it may have no legal effect if the U.S. vetoes it, but it will have a big effect on morale.

    • Mooser
      Mooser on October 20, 2015, 1:03 pm

      “The US will veto this resolution anyway.”

      Aww, every Jewish kid should have a Goyischer big brother to look out for them! They never fail you. (Sorry, sorry, that was intemperate)

    • pmb1414
      pmb1414 on October 20, 2015, 1:31 pm

      The President has nothing to lose at this point. He may surprise us even if it is only an abstention. Of course Samantha Power would resign first.

      • Boomer
        Boomer on October 25, 2015, 6:40 am

        I don’t think Power would resign if told to abstain. She has demonstrated a willingness to do anything, including the donkey, for the job. While it may be true that the President has nothing to lose (except some future contributions, fees, etc.), he evidently told Kerry to scramble to preserve the status quo (i.e., Israeli control of Palestine and of the U.S.), and once again Israel has prevailed. France did not even submit the proposal for a vote.

    • Marnie
      Marnie on October 20, 2015, 3:25 pm

      “You’re wasting your time!” Sound desperate. Only time will tell, not you.

    • zaid
      zaid on October 20, 2015, 3:37 pm

      Even if they use the veto now , next time they wont.

      Israel will be like a basketball player with 4 fouls, one more and you are out.
      Israel will have to be very careful not to upset Palestinians there or Foreign presence is going to become a reality.

      Netanuaho stunt at the Aqsa mosque seems to have backfired.
      Instead of changing the status quo he is going to enforced it further.

      Poor man, First Iran and now this.

    • Rodneywatts
      Rodneywatts on October 20, 2015, 5:37 pm

      Oh Mon Dieu, le grand Palikari a parlé: Que pouvons-nous faire? ( OMG the great Palikari has spoken: what can we do?)…. One minute though Lord , you did say no other gods besides You? Sorry Palikari you aint no true god, so I guess we can ignore your pronouncements, but Vive La France anyway.

    • brent
      brent on October 21, 2015, 8:35 pm

      Perhaps putting internationally controlled security cameras around al-Aqsa would be a good step.

  3. weiss
    weiss on October 20, 2015, 11:28 am

    “Yet after Israel reportedly rejected the timing of the delegation, the meetings were cancelled. ”

    This is why a solution will be imposed on Israel whether they like it or not.

    The scary thing is the suicide bomber mentality of Israel’s policy the “Samson Option” lurks in the shadows if they don’t get their way…

    Scary…

    • annie
      annie on October 20, 2015, 11:35 am

      lurks? oh please. the idea that israel can hold back the world because of a threat to blow it up?

    • inbound39
      inbound39 on October 20, 2015, 11:59 am

      Israel will certainly oppose any outside interference. It cramps their ethnic cleansing…can’t have witnesses can we? There is Israel’s way or no way so the only way change can be effected is by imposition. And they cannot complain given the UN imposed Israel on the Arabs even though democratically Palestine should not have been carved up. The Arabs who were the majority rejected it. In hind sight they were certainly correct in doing so.

      As for the Samson Option this is where Russia can maybe pull some weight. The Americans are surprised at Russia’s cruise missiles and their latest S-500 missile defence can dispose of any American ICBM that may be fired at Russia with lightening speed. It has left the Americans a little gobsmacked. Israel will not have missiles any better than the US so Russia could easily nullify the Samson Option leaving Israel to be crushed for its folly.

    • Mooser
      Mooser on October 20, 2015, 1:01 pm

      “The scary thing is the suicide bomber mentality of Israel’s policy the “Samson Option” lurks in the shadows if they don’t get their way…”

      You know, if you exercise a little patience, you will have the unalloyed pleasure of hearing Israel say that. We don’t need to say it for them.

    • Laurent Weppe
      Laurent Weppe on October 20, 2015, 2:27 pm

      The Samson Option is a fascist’s wet dream, nothing more: the Israeli upper-class view Europe and the US as the haven they’ll go to when their crusader state collapse: they won’t implement a plan that would effectively close down the road to their golden exile

      • Mooser
        Mooser on October 20, 2015, 4:13 pm

        …a fascists wet dream…”

        Yup. That’s the question I’ve always wondered about. If Israel (and the illegal rule over territories in Palestine) collapses, who gets stuck there? That is, cannot leave except as a refugee? It might be surprising to see who the real 100% Israels are.

  4. Maximus Decimus Meridius
    Maximus Decimus Meridius on October 20, 2015, 3:01 pm

    The US will almost certainly veto it, at the expense of pissing off the French.

    Or are the French promoting this resolution in the full expectation that it will be vetoed? In this way, they get to score points for being ‘even handed’ while not risking incurring the wrath of Zion.

    The cynic in me – and how can one be anything other than a cynic when it comes to world affairs – thinks this is the case.

    • Boomer
      Boomer on October 20, 2015, 3:31 pm

      We may well veto the French resolution, if we can’t stop them from presenting it for a vote (as we usually manage to do). Obama’s words and actions seem to support that expectation. But I can’t understand why. It seems such a small action. If we are not willing to do even that tiny bit, surely any and all positive words from the U.S. government about Palestinian rights are empty words.

  5. amigo
    amigo on October 20, 2015, 4:15 pm

    Can,t you see it ???.

    Foreign Goy invaders patrolling the streets of the eternal capital of the Jewish people.

    Holocaust , Holocaust , pogroms , Jew hatred etc etc.Not on my watch.Get me B.O on the phone and tell him not to keep me waiting.

  6. bryan
    bryan on October 20, 2015, 5:51 pm

    How could Israel possibly object? Israel is a member of the UN and the UN in its attempted partition proposal of 1947, which provides a solitary figleaf for the establishment of a Jewish state, ruled that Jerusalem, because of its importance to three religions should be subject to international supervision, known as a “corpus separatum”. Therefore, international supervision would not be disturbing the status quo, but installing a proposal that originally led the cafe owners in Tel Aviv to offer their customers free champagne (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Partition_Plan_for_Palestine#Jews). Hopefully this renewed UN effort to resolve this difficult problem will be met with a similar response.

    • inbound39
      inbound39 on October 20, 2015, 9:06 pm

      Precisely Bryan…they agreed to it and it was never within the borders Israel declared as sovereign Israel. Israel declared its borders to be those as defined by the Partition Plan. The Provisional Government also advised the UN that Jerusalem was not Israel Sovereign territory but Occupied Territory. Netanyahu cannot complain. Those borders declared by Israel in 1948 are still the borders Israel is Internationally recognised upon.

      • Doubtom
        Doubtom on October 22, 2015, 12:43 am

        Whatever Israel “agreed” to Bryan, during the original formation of Israel, no longer obtains, when the Supreme and Divine leader of ALL the Jews”, Netan’yahoo, has refused to delineate his ever expanding borders and for obvious reasons. Bear in mind as well, that the Supreme and Divine leader of ALL THE JEWS!, HERR NETAN’YAHOO, HAS ALREADY DECLARED JERUSALEM TO BE ISRAEL’S CAPITAL, NOW AND FOREVER MORE! Hey, that should count for something, After all he is one of god’s ‘chosen’!

  7. ckg
    ckg on October 20, 2015, 5:51 pm

    Is King PlayStation on board with this? Kerry hinted that he was not. He has a seat in the UNSC now.

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