Palestinians Want Israel Pullout Vote This Year
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - The Palestinian UN ambassador said Friday that his government wanted the UN Security Council to vote on a resolution before the end of the year that would set November 2016 as the deadline for Israeli troops to withdraw from all Palestinian territories.
Riyad Mansour said Friday that if the resolution was defeated - which is almost certain because of opposition from Israel's closest ally the United States and others - the Palestinians had other options.
"This is not going to be an open-ended exercise," he said. "The main option is to go with a vote."
Palestinian officials said Thursday that they had seven "yes" votes in the 15-member Security Council and are seeking additional support. A minimum of nine votes is needed for approval, and then the measure can be vetoed by one of the five permanent members, including the United States.
The draft resolution is an expression of Palestinian frustration with the repeated failure of US-led negotiations with Israel on the terms of an independent Palestinian state. The last round broke down in April, after nine months of fruitless talks in which the two sides couldn't agree on the ground rules.
Mansour said the Palestinians would not go back "to the same kind of negotiations that have led us nowhere for more than 20 years."
US Ambassador Samantha Power, asked earlier this month about a deadline for an Israeli pullout, said that the United States strongly believed the only solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was through negotiations between the two parties, AP reported.
Mansour said the Palestinians were committed to voting on the resolution and "the centerpiece of our resolution is the time frame.