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Palestinians working on UN resolution to declare West Bank settlements illegal

Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas addresses the United Nations General Assembly at the UN in New York on September 30, 2015
Jewel Samad (AFP)
Palestinian Authority in contact with France, Spain and Egypt to advance resolution against Israel

The Palestinian Authority has been working with France, Spain and Egypt in order to advance a resolution in the UN Security Council that will condemn Israeli settlements in the West Bank, Israeli daily Haaretz reported Thursday.

According to senior Palestinian and Israeli officials, the Palestinian Authority has been in contact with the three Security Council member countries in an attempt to persuade them to draw up such a resolution and support it.

The resolution would declare the settlements as illegal under international law and present them as obstacle to peace.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki recently met with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and discussed submitting such a resolution.

Ten days ago Maliki visited Cairo and discussed the resolution with Egyptian Foreign Minister Samech Shoukry, Haaretz reported.

The French government has expressed intention to advance a resolution before the United Nations Security Council on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with a focus on settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The resolution seeks to define the parameters for a two-state solution and a timeline for an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius hinted during a meeting in New York of the foreign ministers of the Middle East Quartet countries that France would still go through with the resolution that has caused a diplomatic rift between Paris and Jerusalem.

Fabius demanded to participate in the meeting, Western diplomats and two senior Israeli officials said, according to Haaretz. During the meeting he exerted strong pressure on the Americans and on EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, according to the report.

France in March said that it planned to begin talks on a new Security Council resolution that would set "parameters" for ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and for reviving failed negotiations.

"It's the responsibility of this council to adopt a consensual and balanced resolution that sets the parameters of a final status and a timeline for the negotiations," French UN Ambassador Francois Delattre told a council meeting.

The latest round of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, brokered by the top US diplomat John Kerry, ended nearly two years with no agreement.

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France to advance UN resolution on West Bank settlements


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